"Democrats and Republicans share less common ground than at any point in living memory, Robert H. Frank wrote earlier this month in The New York Times, “and they are especially divided about out still-ailing economy.” More than one-quarter (26 percent) of Affluent investors surveyed in June by Spectrem Group consider this inability for lawmakers to work together to find solutions to the prolonged economy downturn to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s financial goals at this time.
Three months ago, when we last asked this question, the Political Climate was considered an impediment to financial goals by 20 percent of Affluent investors. As the presidential campaign intensifies over the next five months, it is likely the percentage will continue to climb.
One example of gridlock this month was efforts by Democrats and Republicans to reach a compromise to head off the July 1 doubling of interest rates on federal loans to 7.4 million college students. At presstime, a deal had not been reached on how to pay the $6 billion it is estimated it will cost to keep rates at their current level for another year. Failure to act would cost families $1,000 in extra college costs.
A near equal percentage of overall Affluent investors and Millionaire households (22 percent vs. 21 percent) consider the stagnant Economy to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s financial goals. Five percent of both Affluent and Millionaire households consider Unemployment (at 8.2 percent) to be the most serious impediment, while 3 percent consider Inflation to be the most serious threat.
The ongoing Eurozone crisis is becoming more of a concern to Affluent investors (12 percent vs. 5 percent three months ago when this question was last asked), but Millionaires especially (18 percent) are concerned about the impact on their portfolios. A greater percentage of Millionaires than Affluent households also consider Market Conditions to be the most challenging obstacle to achieving their financial plan (12 percent vs. 7 percent).
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.