Throughout 2013, “Stock market conditions” was cited as the primary factor impacting the investment plans of wealthy households. Consistently ranked second was the economic environment, followed by the political climate.
In the first month of 2014 investors with $500,000 of investable assets told Spectrem Group they are not sure what the stock market will do for an encore after hitting historical highs. Four-in-ten said they did not know whether the market was experiencing a bubble. Thirty-five percent were uncertain how the market would perform in 2014. Those who profess to have the most financial knowledge felt adamantly that the stock market is not experiencing a bubble (48 percent). These investors were also the most likely to believe the stock market would continue to go up in 2014 (37 percent vs. 23 percent of Affluent respondents overall). An equal percentage believed it would remain about the same.
The second most referenced factor Affluent investors told Spectrem Group is affecting their investment plans is Retirement, a concern especially among Baby Boomers whose retirement readiness may have been impacted by the economic collapse and who are wondering if they will be able to retire as planned and whether they will have enough retirement savings to maintain their lifestyle.
The economic environment was the third-most cited factor Affluent investors feel is affecting their investment plans (11 percent, down from 16 percent three months ago), followed by the political climate (2 percent down from 7 percent in October).
The Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, a monthly measure of Affluent investor confidence, gained nearly two points in January to 15.34. The overall improvement was driven by Millionaire investors, who expressed a more upbeat attitude about four financial factors that impact their daily lives. The overall Outlook has been volatile over the last six months, but it is up significantly from January 2013, when the reading was 11.23 points. The Index was compiled, however, before the market took a significant dip at the end of January.