There are investors who watch the stock market daily and allow their outlook to be affected by the ups and downs.
And there are investors who pay no mind to the stock market, and allow their outlook on the state of financial affairs to be determined by the money in their pocket or in their bank account, and how their household budget is affected by outside economic forces.
For Spectrem’s Household Outlook, it interviews both kinds of investors monthly and asks them to judge four financial components in their daily lives, comparing the state of those components from one month to the next to determine an overall feeling about how economic matters are going for their household and family.
The Spectrem Household Outlook measures an investor’s optimism about four financial components in their daily lives, including Household Income, Household Assets, and the Economy. For April, the Outlook registered at 21.20, just a bump below March’s rating of 21.60. It marks the third consecutive month the Outlook has been above 20, but well below the 30.20 registered in September.
In all four categories, among all investors, the April Outlook was less than a measure of 1 point above or below the number registered in March, although the only number above was for Company Health.
As investors are segmented by wealth, gender, political affiliation and working status, there were slightly different responses.
Here is a look at the outlook regarding each component:
1.20, down from 1.60 in March.
- The Outlook for the Economy spent five months in negative territory until March, so a positive number is a positive Outlook. But the slight drop reflects that investors understand the economy is not the stock market and the stock market is not the economy.
- Those investors who registered a slight improvement in their outlook for the economy were Millionaires, male investors and those investors who are still working. None of the increases were significant, however.
- The investors who recorded the greatest drop in their Outlook for the economy were females and non-Millionaires, who dropped their Outlook again into negative territory.
45.20, down less than a point from 46.00 in March.
- The Outlook for Household Assets dropped for a second month in a row, but remains high from a historical perspective. It appears there has been no economic factor which has impacted assets either positively or negatively.
- In fact, non-Millionaires and female investors recorded an improved Outlook for Household Assets, although neither recorded huge jumps. The biggest improvement came from investors who vote Democratic, as they increased their Outlook from 33.33 to 44.64.
25.20, a drop of less than a point from 26.00 in March.
- The Outlook for Household Income usually sits between 15 and 30, but was as low as 14.40 three months ago, so the current rating is optimistic. But it is also unchanged from the previous month. Interestingly, non-Millionaires reported a 6-point improvement in their Outlook for income, Millionaires dropped their Outlook for Household Income to 21.71, and now sits seven points below non-Millionaires, which is very unusual from a historical perspective.
13.20, up half a point from 12.80 in March.
- Considering all of the positive corporate statements coming out in April, the Outlook for Company Health might be expected to be higher. The increase was registered by Millionaires and male investors, but only by a small margin.
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