Millionaires More Hopeful About Economy, Fidelity Says

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Millionaires still view the economy as weak, but they are growing more hopeful about the future growth, according to a recent survey from Fidelity Investments.

Based on a scale where +100 is the most favorable outlook, zero is neutral and -100 is the most negative, the 2010 Fidelity Millionaire Outlook reported that millionaires' view of the economy in late 2010 rose to -54 from -91 in 2009. The online survey of more than 1,000 financial decision-makers in U.S. households with investable assets of at least $1 million was conducted October 18-29.

When asked about their view of the economy a year down the road, in late 2011, millionaires expressed more optimism, according to the survey. Millionaire future outlook is at +37, its highest level since the survey's inception in 2006, when future outlook was at +6, according to Fidelity.

"Although millionaires are inherently optimistic, given their current views of the economy, we were surprised to see millionaires so optimistic about the future," said Michael R. Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. "Millionaires' outlook could be seen as a leading indicator of the direction of the economy, especially since the last time we conducted this survey in early 2009, they forecasted improvement in all aspects of the U.S. economy at the beginning of 2010."

The survey also showed that four in ten millionaires do not feel wealthy, despite having an average of $3.5 million in investable assets and $379,000 in annual household income. The survey also showed that millionaires begin to feel wealthy when they reach an asset level of at least $7.5 million.

Eighty-three percent of respondents remain unfazed by the market downturn, with 63% not expecting market volatility to become the new norm, according to the survey. In fact, 43% of millionaires indicated they were more knowledgeable investors since the market downturn, with that same percentage indicating they planned to invest more in the stock market over the next year.

Three-quarters of respondents reported they were concerned about the impact of potential tax changes on their investments, with 63% indicating they planned to discuss the tax implications with their financial advisor, according to the survey. Thirty-six percent indicated they planned to take greater advantage of tax-free investments, 25% planned to start or re-evaluate an estate plan and 22% planned to contribute more to tax-deffered retirement plans.


Financial Advisor magazine reaches 90,000 financial planners and investment advisors through its print publication and its Web site . It also publishes FA green , for advisors interested in socially responsible investing, and Private Wealth , for advisors targeting the ultra high-net-worth market.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Charter Financial Publishing Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.


This article appears in: Financial Advisor Center , Business

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