The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index fell five points in December to -15, returning to mildly bearish territory, according to the survey.
The decline in the index, which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, follows a five-point gain in November 2009 and ends the year with the affluent index mildly bearish for 11 of 12 months.
Meanwhile, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index fell six points in December to -10, its fifth-straight month in neutral territory.
In response to an open-ended question about the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals, affluent investors in December cited: the political climate (22%); the economy (18%); unemployment (12%); market conditions (6%); inflation (6%); and health-related issues (4%). Those choosing the political climate rose from 16% in September, the last time this question was asked, while those citing the economy fell from 24% (see “Affluent Investors Show a Tad More Optimism”).
Millionaires expressed more concern about the political climate (24%) than the affluent but less about the economy (16%).
“Affluent investors and millionaires saw their investment confidence decline in December, with the affluent returning to a mildly bearish stance. While more positive on the economy, rising concerns about the political climate are making wealthy Americans a little less optimistic heading into the New Year,” said George H. Walper, Jr., president of Spectrem Group, in a release of the results.
The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index is based on 250 monthly interviews with the financial decision-makers in households with $500,000 or more in investable assets. The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI) is based on a subset of the overall survey group.