Millionaires Return from Bearish Terrain

Spectrem Group said its Millionaire Investor Index rose and Affluent Investor Index remained unchanged during July.

The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Index (SMII) rose 4 points in July to -8, its highest level since February, but still 2 points below its January level, according to a release from the company. The increase, which followed a 3-point decline in June, returned the index to neutral territory from mildly bearish (see Wealthy Americans Take Bearish Stance).

Meanwhile, the Spectrem Affluent Investor Index (SAII), which measures the investment outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, maintained the bearish stance it began in March. The index was unchanged in July at -17, which represents the second-lowest level since the indexes’ inception in February 2004.

“Interestingly, with the July advance millionaires have opened a significant spread between their level of optimism and that of the affluent,’ said George Walper, Jr., president of Spectrem Group, in the release. “Whether this suggests a broader improvement in the coming months remains unclear.’

In response to an open-ended question about the factor most affecting their investment plans, affluent investors in July cited: stock market conditions (27%), the economic environment (21%), retirement (8%), household cash flow (6%), housing and real estate (5%), and household income (2%). The percentage choosing stock market conditions was the same (27%) as in April 2008, the last time this question was asked, according to Spectrem.

Millionaires shared the same top three concerns as the affluent: stock market conditions (28%), the economic environment (20%), and retirement (10%), the company said.

Performance in 2008

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