Politics More to Blame than Markets for Drop in Confidence

Spectrem Group reports that its Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index fell nine points in August to -18, its lowest level in a year.  

Spectrem also keeps track of millionaires with the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index, which fell four points to -9, considered to be a neutral level.   

The decline brings the affluent index, which measures the investment confidence and outlook of households with $500,000 or more in investable assets, to its lowest level since August 2010, when it stood at -20. Spectrem sees this as being in mildly bearish territory, down from neutral in July.

“This truly tumultuous month for the stock market has clearly unnerved America’s affluent investors, who have focused their attention on the political environment and market conditions,” said George H. Walper, Jr., President of Spectrem Group.

In response to an open-ended question about the news story most affecting their economic outlook, affluent investors in August cited: the political environment (28%); stock market conditions (12%); unemployment (10%); the economy (9%); the deficit (8%); international problems (7%), and gas and oil prices (1%).   Those citing the political environment rose from 17% in May 2011 (the last time this question was asked), and those citing stock market conditions rose from 3%.

Millionaires were more focused on the political environment (32%) than the affluent and were equally focused on unemployment (10%).

The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index is based on 250 monthly email interviews with the financial decision-makers in households with $500,000 or more in investable assets. The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index is based on a subset of the overall survey group.