Affluent investors consider the economy and partisan political climate as the biggest current threats to achieving their financial goals, according to a new survey conducted by Millionare Corner.
Respondents consider the two inextricably linked. The economy is the biggest issue of the ever-intensifying presidential campaign, and there is an increasing perception that the president and lawmakers are unwilling or unable to work together to fix it. Lawmakers, for example, elected to break until after the November elections, leaving unresolved the pressing issue of the fiscal cliff, the combination of year-end tax cuts and automatic spending cuts that, should Congress not take any action, could drive the country back into recession, experts forecast.
At a news conference earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned that lawmakers were putting the U.S. economy in jeopardy. "If the fiscal cliff isn't addressed, I don't think our tools are strong enough to offset the effects of a major fiscal shock,” he remarked.
So divisive is the current political environment that this month moderate Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe stunned colleagues by announcing that she was dropping out of her Senate race. She cited the “partisanship of recent years” as the reason she would not seek her fourth term.
Affluent investors also see the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis as a significant threat to achieving their financial goals. Millionaire households are more concerned about this issue than Affluent households overall (18 percent vs. 14 percent). In a separate recent survey conducted by Spectrem Group, roughly two-thirds of high net worth investors said they were adjusting their investment strategies in response to the Eurozone debt crisis.
While the economy and political climate encompass a wide range of economic factors, Affluent investors also cited specific issues as threats to achieving their financial goals at this time. These included market conditions, unemployment, and inflation.