One has to go back to the depths of the European debt crisis or the tumult of the Arab Spring for a time when Affluent investors' economic outlook was more impacted by international, rather than domestic, news.
One has to go back to the depths of the European debt crisis or the tumult of the Arab Spring for a time when Affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner said that international events, more than the economy or the political environment, were the primary news stories most affecting their economic outlook. But in May, the highest percentage by a wide margin (21 percent) said that they are focused most on the latest overseas news and how it might impact their portfolios. This is up from a mere 3 percent last February when this question was last asked.
The top international story in May was the continued tensions between Russia and Ukraine. In the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea at the end of April, the United States and the European Union imposed economic sanctions against Russia. Controversial referendums were held mid-month held by pro-Russian activists eager to declare independence from Kiev. These were marked by violence and charges of voter fraud. From the price of oil to the impact on emerging markets, Affluent investors are more tightly focused on this developing story.
The next highest percentage (12 percent) said the political environment is the news story most affecting their economic outlook. This is up from 9 percent last February. This month saw a renewed call for hearings on Benghaz as well as a developing scandal over mismanagement within the Veteran’s Administration which is being blamed in the deaths of veterans who did not receive timely care.
Other ongoing news stories failed to engage the vast majority of Affluent investors in regards to their economic outlook: stock market conditions (11 percent, down from 15 percent three months ago), unemployment (9 percent, down from 13 percent), the economy (7 percent, up from 6 percent) and health care (6 percent).
Of these news stories, international problems is of more interest to Millionaires than non-Millionaires (24 percent vs. 21 percent).
Related story: BRIC countries or BIC countries?
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.