A significant “optimism gap” is dividing investors from higher and lower wealth levels. Learn more about the different economic outlooks of the rich and super rich.
A significant “optimism gap” is dividing America’s wealthy investors from the super wealthy, according to a new monthly survey from Millionaire Corner, which shows the most affluent investors have the most positive economic outlook.
A large majority of Millionaire investors – about 63 percent - say they believe the United States Economy is stronger now that it was a year ago. In contrast, individuals with less than $100,000 in investable assets are much more likely to believe the economy is the same or worse than a year ago. Nearly 64 percent of investors from the lowest wealth segment hold this negative view of the economy, according to a survey of more than 900 investors conducted by Millionaire Corner in March.
More than 40 percent of Millionaires – those with investable assets of $1 million or more - say they expect the stock market to continue to climb over the next five months, an optimistic attitude shared by about 28 percent of less affluent investors. About 60 percent of investors with $100,000 or less see they stock market staying very close to its current level, while less than half of Millionaires feel that way.
The economic outlook of survey participants appears linked to the investors’ sense of financial well-being, according to our survey results, which shows that investors with less than $100,000 are more likely to feel their financial situation has deteriorated in the last four years. About 20 percent of Millionaires say they are worse off now than they were four years ago, a sentiment shared by 30 percent of investors with less than $100,000.
Nearly half the Millionaires say they are better off now than at the worst of the recession, despite heavy losses in the housing market. Three-fourths of Millionaires say they home value is “lower or substantially lower” than it was five years ago, compared to about 53 percent of investors with less than $100,000.
Millionaires’ greater sense of optimism is shared by the youngest investors, those ages 40 and younger. Like Millionaires, more than 60 percent of Gen X and Gen Y say they are better off now than they were four years ago, and only 16 percent say they are worse off. Retirees, on the other hand, are the least likely demographic to describe their financial situation as better than it was in 2008.
Less affluent households appear to be more sensitive to rising gas prices, which historically have had a powerful impact on consumer confidence. More than 15 percent of less affluent households identify gas prices below $3.50 as their primary indicator that the economy is improving, an opinion shared by about 6 percent of Millionaires.