Recent market volatility has undermined Affluent investor confidence.
For the first time since April, the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®) declined over the course of a month in October. It dropped 8 points to 5. This is the largest month-to-month decrease since last February, when the SAICI fell 12 points. The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®) fell 11 points to 8, an eight-month low, and, again, the biggest month-to-month decrease in eight months.
The indices measure the investment confidence and outlook of households with more than $500,000 of investable assets and more than $1 million of investable assets, respectively. The September SAICI is up 9 points from the same period last year. The SMICI is unchanged.
The October indices indicate a renewed wary and cautious investment mindset among Affluent investors. When asked the one factor that most affects their current investment plans, the highest percentage of Affluent respondents (38 percent) told Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner it is stock market conditions; this in a month of extreme market volatility. In one stretch, the Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 1,100 points between Sept. 18 and Oct. 15 before recovering about half of those losses in a three-day surge. In the closing weeks of the month, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Nasdaq erased all of October’s losses.
Market volatility has, in turn, has impacted Affluent investors’ short-term investment plans. When asked by how they intend to invest in the coming month, more Affluent investors than in the previous month indicated they would be holding on the sidelines. In September, those who responded similarly dropped to a six-month low. Even among Millionaires, who are generally more confident and engaged investors, the number who indicated they would “not invest” was two points higher than in October 2013.
A further reflection of the Affluent investor mindset is a drop in October of the Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, a monthly measure of confidence in financial factors that impact their daily lives, including household assets, household income, company health and the economy in general. In September, the Outlook had posted a pre-recession high. In October, it dropped to a six-month low.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.