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Political Climate Recedes as Factor in Affluent Investment Plans

Almost one-third of Affluent investors cite stock market conditions as the factor having the most affect on their current investment plans.

| BY Donald Liebenson


When asked about the one factor that is most impacting their current investment plans, the highest percentage of Affluent investors (32 percent) cited Stock Market Conditions.  Of those surveyed who are Millionaires, the percentage was slightly lower (30 percent). This is on par with the response in April when this question was last asked.

Ten percent of Affluent investors surveyed by Spectrem Group indicated that the Economic Environment is the one factor most affecting their current investment plans. This is up slightly from April.

The stock market had an uneven first half. Among the events that have rattled investors include ISIS and ISIS-inspired attacks abroad and in America, the Greek debt crisis, America’s prolonged negotiations on a controversial nuclear agreement with Iran, a stock bubble in China, and ongoing speculation over when the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4 percent through the first six months of the year, the first time in five years that the index lost ground in that period. The S&P 500 ended the first half with a gain of 0.2 percent, also the worst showing since 2010.

The second half has begun with the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Germany, along with the European Union, signing the nuclear deal with Iran that its proponents state will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Also this month, the Eurozone offered Greece a new $90 billion three-year bailout that would secure its place in the euro in exchange for Greece enacting austere economic reforms. The talks between Greece and its international creditors continue.

Retirement is another key issue being watched by Affluent investors. Eighteen percent indicated it is the key factor affecting their current investment plans. This, too, is basically unchanged from April, but up from 13 percent at the beginning of the year. In late June, the Government Accountability Office released an analysis of American households with members at least 55 years of age and found that roughly 30 percent have neither retirement savings nor a traditional pension plan.

Of those who do report having retirement savings, the agency found that the average amount of those accumulated nest eggs was about $104,000 for Baby Boomers between 55 and 65 years old and $148,000 for households with members between 65 and 74 years old. That translates to about $310 and $649 per month, respectively, the GAO study found.

Surprisingly, the political climate barely registers among Affluent investors as a factor impacting their current investment plans. It has gotten stormier of late, especially following the signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Taking its cue from GOP candidate Donald Trump, the presidential race has taken on an intemperate tone unprecedented in recent years. But Affluent investors must be tuning it out to focus on factors that directly impact their portfolios. 

About the Author

Donald Liebenson


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.