The highest percentage of Affluent investors (19 percent) surveyed in December by Spectrem Group consider Market Conditions to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s current financial goals. But they are near split on what they consider to be the second most-serious threat; the Economy (14 percent) and the Political Climate (13 percent).
Among those surveyed, Millionaires are more focused on the strictly economic factors that could impact their household’s current financial goals. Twenty-two percent cited Market Conditions, while 16 percent said the Economy.
These responses are near identical to what they were three months ago when this tri-monthly question was last asked, with the exception of the Political Climate response, which gained three points from last September. This month’s survey was taken a month after the midterm elections when the Republicans gained control of the House and Senate. Following an all-too brief honeymoon the President’s executive order regarding immigration scuttled talk of bipartisanship and working together.
As the December survey was being fielded, rhetoric heated up again before President Obama signed a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that avoided a shutdown and will keep the government operating for the next nine months.
But Market Conditions remain the primary factor that Affluent investors perceive as the greatest threat to their household’s current financial plans. In the first two weeks of the month, the market experienced at one point a triple-digit drop that sent one volatility index and fear gauge up 20 percent.
The so-called “Santa Claus” stock rally typically seen in December did not occur until the last two weeks of the month.