NBR, May 17, 2016, Robert Frank - Millionaire investors say Clinton is better for markets: Survey


Millionaire investors said a Hillary Clinton victory in November would be a better investing opportunity than a Donald Trump win. But like the rest of the country, the group is sharply divided along partisan lines.

CNBC’s “Millionaire Survey,” which in March surveyed 750 people with $1 million or more in investable assets, found that 42 percent of millionaires view Clinton’s election as a “good opportunity for investments.” By comparison, only 36 percent said a Trump victory would provide a good investing opportunity.

Yet millionaires’ investor outlooks were highly dependent on their politics. While 82 percent of Democratic millionaires said Clinton would offer a good investing opportunity, only 10 percent of Republicans agreed. When it comes to Trump, 62 percent of Republicans said his election would be a good opportunity for investments, compared with just 13 percent of Democrats.

For both candidates, independent millionaires were largely split.

“I think this speaks to people’s core beliefs as they relate to politics,” said Catherine McBreen, managing director of Spectrem Group, which conducted the study for CNBC. “Republican millionaires believe that their policies are better for corporations, earnings and small business, whereas Democrats feel that having more government involvement may be better.”

Millionaires of both parties expect roughly the same returns on their investments this year, with the majority forecasting gains between 2 percent and 6 percent. That includes 35 percent who said they anticipate their annual rate of return to be between 2 percent and 4 percent, and 34 percent who expect it to be between 4 percent and 6 percent.

Yet politics clearly shape how millionaires see the fundamental economy. When asked about their economic outlook for the year, about half of the millionaires surveyed from both parties said the state of the economy will remain the same. But 27 percent of Republican millionaires said it will be weaker, compared with just 9 percent of Democrats. Meanwhile, 41 percent of Democrats expect it to be stronger, compared with 19 percent of Republicans.

A millionaire’s party affiliation shapes their view of markets and the economy more than their wealth, the survey found. Responses from those worth $5 million or more were roughly the same as those worth less.

“Those core beliefs don’t change with people’s wealth,” McBreen said.


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