The number of millionaire households that make up the “affluent market” is recovering along with the stock market, but investors remain concerned about retirement, health care costs and other financial concerns.
The number of millionaire households in the U.S. has increased for the third consecutive year, but remains below the pre-recession high of 9.2 million in 2007, according to the 2012 Affluent Market Insights released today by Millionaire Corner.
Millionaire households rose by 200,000 to 8.6 million in 2011, up significantly from 6.7 million in 2008, when the affluent market fell a precipitous 27 percent. Affluent households with $100,000 or more in net worth, rose to 36.7 million in 2011, up from 36.2 million in 2010 and significantly higher than the 31.2 million trough of 2008. (Millionaire Corner defines net worth as all assets not including primary residence.)
Households with a net worth of $500,000 or more rose to 13.8 million from 13.5 million last year. Their numbers peaked at 15.7 million in 2007. Households with a net worth of $5 million or more rose to 1.078 million this year as opposed 1.061 last year, but remain below the 2007 peak of 1.16 million.
Households belonging to the wealthiest Americans – those with $25 million or more in net worth - grew to 107,000 from 105,000 in 2010, a drop of about 18,000 from the peak of 125,000 in 2007.
Investor confidence is also on the rebound from year lows, but has declined overall in the year ending February 2012, according to the Spectrem Investor Confidence Indices. .Millionaires were at a bullish 17 in February 2011, according to the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index, but sentiment fell to -13 in October and now stands at a neutral 4. Affluent Investors started the year at a neutral 4, fell to a bearish -18 in August and remain in negative territory with a -5 reading, according to the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index.
The prolonged stock market rally has augmented portfolios and boosted confidence, but it has not completely alleviated investors’ concerns about their personal financial situation and the overall economy.
Mass Affluent investors – those with a net worth of $100,000 up to $1 million – rank retirement security as their top personal financial concern. Sixty-three percent say they worry about having enough money set aside for retirement, and fewer than half feel they have a well-defined strategy for investing their retirement savings or are “very satisfied” with returns on their retirement plan investments.
Retirement concerns are followed closely by worries about their current financial position among the Mass Affluent. Sixty-two percent are worried about maintaining their financial status quo. The financial consequences of a medical emergency, as well as the financial security of future generations, worry close to 60 percent of the Mass Affluent.
Financial concerns are less pronounced among Millionaire investors, but well over half of investors with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million worry about a family health catastrophe, the financial well being of their children and grandchildren and college costs. Close to 60 percent also worry about maintaining their current financial position. Health concerns dominate investors with $5 million to $25 million, which represents an older demographic.
Affluent Market Insights 2012 provides you with findings from on-going research with investors of all levels of wealth on a number of strategic issues. The report can be purchased for $49.95 here