Growing concerns about the economy and upcoming elections are having a sobering effect on the millionaire mindset. Learn more.
The millionaire mindset remains largely “risk off” going into the presidential election, according to Millionaire Corner research that tracks continued concern among affluent investors over the prolonged economic downturn, national debt and political environment.
Millionaire investors began 2012 with little inclination toward investment risk. Close to half (49 percent) said it was more important to protect principal than to grow investments, and one-third expressed willingness to take on investment risk, according to a study conducted over the first quarter of the year. Why this largely moderate to conservative stance? Nearly 80 percent of Millionaires said they were worried about the economy, up from 70 percent last year, and more than three fourths said they were worried about the debt and national political scene.
The Millionaire mindset does not appear to have become significantly more confident over the second and third quarters. On the contrary, Millionaires - investors with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including primary residence - are approaching the election season with trepidation.
More than one-third (36 percent) of millionaires surveyed in our September poll described themselves as “very worried” about the election. (Sentiment was scored on a 10-point scale with 10 representing “not at all worried” and 1 equaling “very worried.”) Millionaires ranked the economy as the issue most likely to influence their votes, and they also express relatively high levels of concern over the national debt and taxes.
Big-picture concerns about the economy and debt have made the Millionaire mindset less bullish about the stock market, according to a survey of more than 1,100 investors conducted in August. When asked to identify the reasons for their declining confidence in U.S. equities markets, close to two-thirds of Millionaires cited the federal deficit and the likelihood that the national debt will increase taxes and slow economic growth. Well over half are worried about the jobs situation, as well as the European debt crisis, which they see likely to cause extreme stock market volatility.
While the Millionaire mindset remains gloomy over national and global issues, Millionaires appear slightly more upbeat over their personal financial situation. More than 60 percent of Millionaires surveyed in September say they are better off than they were a year ago.