For the first time since June 2004, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®) reached 23, gaining 20 points from its five-month low reached in August. The 20-point gain is the largest month-to-month increase since Spectrem Group began compiling the Index in 2004.
The surge in the SMICI also lifted the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®), which gained 17 points to 8, an almost 6 ½-year high and another unprecedented month-to-month increase.
The indices measure the investment confidence and outlook of households with more than $500,000 of investables and more than $1 million of investables, respectively.
Not that there aren’t pressing economic issues of concern to Affluent investors surveyed this month. When asked what they consider to be the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals at this current time, the highest percentage (22 percent) responded, “The economy.” This in a month in which perhaps the key economic report, the Unemployment Situation, was deemed at best disappointing by analysts.
Of near equal concern to Affluent investors is the stormy political climate, which showed no signs of abating in September. The partisan gap seems more like an abyss as the White House and lawmakers find themselves at odds over issues both foreign (how to respond to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons) and domestic (the Affordable Health Care Act, which opponents of the President’s signature legislation are determined to defund, and the escalating debt ceiling debate)
But the Spectrem indices were fielded in the midst of record market highs. Spectrem’s survey of how Affluent investors intend to invest in the coming month found Millionaires especially engaged in the market and willing to move off the sidelines. Non-Millionaires expressed more caution and a preference for safer investments such as Cash. The investment preferences survey was taken before the Federal Reserve announced it would keep its stimulus program in place, speculation of which had roiled the markets over the last few months.
The jump in the indices is also reflected in a rebound from the previous month in the Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, which surged to its highest reading since January 2011.