For the second straight month, there is an eight-point gap between the Affluent and Millionaire investor confidence indexes.
Market volatility and a more pessimistic household outlook drove a three-point decline in the September Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®) to 6. During the same period, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®) also dropped 3 points to 14. Both readings are three-month lows.
The indices, compiled by Spectrem Group, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets, measure the investment confidence and outlook of the 16MM households in America with more than $500,000 of investable assets (SAICI), and those with $1MM or more (SMICI). This month’s survey was fielded between Sept. 17-23.
This is the first time since March-April that the Affluent and Millionaire indices declined for two consecutive months. The eight-point gap between the indices, the highest since August 2014, also maintained for the second straight month.
Driving the declines in both indices were concerns about market conditions. In a survey with Spectrem Group, Affluent investors indicated they considered market conditions to be the most serious threat to achieving their current household financial goals.
On Aug, 24, for example, amidst concern over the slowdown of China’s economy, the Dow suffered an historic 1,000-point decline before closing with a loss of nearly 600 points; the worst day for the Dow since August 2011.
Disappointing economic reports, too, dampened Affluent investor confidence. The closely- watched jobs report released in the first week of September found that the U.S. economy added a less-than-expected 173,000 jobs. A Gallup poll last month reported that Americans’ daily spending in August averaged $89, the lowest August reading in three years.
Another factor in the decline of the Affluent and Millionaire investor confidence indices was the drop in the Spectrem Millionaire Household Outlook, which fell to an 18-month low. The Outlook is a measure of the confidence affluent households have in four financial factors that impact their daily lives, Millionaires indicated a drop in confidence in household assets and income.
Tellingly, when asked how they intend to invest in the coming month, Millionaires, generally more confident investors than their non-Millionaire counterparts, indicated in higher numbers than the previous month that they did not intend to invest.
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.