Confidence among millionaire and affluent households are at 10 and eight-month lows respectively, although these groups have more faith in the economy than they did in July, new figures from Spectrem Group show.
According to the firm’s Millionaire Investor Confidence Index, confidence dipped 1 point in August to a 10-month low of -8. In April, the index finished at 8, followed by a reading of 3 in May and 1 in June - indicating the way confidence has trended downward since earlier in the year.
This is perhaps unsurprising given the forthcoming elections, and indeed the survey also found that the political environment is “overwhelmingly the news story that is most affecting their economic outlook.”
Meanwhile, the Affluent Investor Confidence Index - which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with $500,000 or more in net worth - remained unchanged from July’s score of -10, a figure which represents the lowest reading in eight months. The index scored 2 in April, but declined to -5 and -4 in May and June respectively.
The household outlook is comprised of views on household income, household assets, company health and the economy. Confidence in household assets posted the largest gain in non-millionaire households, while company health showed the biggest gain in millionaire households, the firm noted.
“Despite the disappointing investor confidence levels, millionaire and non-millionaire households did express an increased level of confidence in the economy from the previous month,” said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group. “But their overall attitude toward the economy is at its second lowest level thus far in 2012.”
While affluent households were more active in the market in August than the previous month, they tended to favor conservative investments, such as cash or bond mutual funds.
The Affluent Investor Confidence Index is based on 250 monthly online interviews with the financial decision-makers in households with $500,000 or more in investable assets. The Millionaire Investor Confidence Index is based on a subset of the overall survey group.