Concerns about the fiscal cliff and government gridlock were not enough to keep Affluent investor confidence down in December. The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI®), which had dropped 11 points in November gained 4 for a reading of -9. The Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI®) similarly bounced back from its eight-point drop last month, gaining 4 for a reading of -2.
The SAICI has been in negative territory for eight consecutive months. The year-high posting in November was a reflection of concern over the presidential election and how the outcome would impact the economic recovery. The SMICI has been in negative territory for seven consecutive months.
Affluent investors’ more cautiously positive mood in December is also reflected in the Spectrem Affluent Household Outlook, which jumped 14.03 points to -3.49, its highest reading and month-to-month increase since September. While also in negative territory, the overall Outlook, a survey of Affluent attitudes toward financial factors that impact their daily lives, did show a marked improvement over the previous month when it dropped to a 15-month low.
The cautiousness is reflected in the investment preferences of Affluent investors this month, according to our most recent survey. While planned investment in Stocks was up in Millionaire households in December, more Non-Millionaires this month said they would opt to hold back and remain on the sidelines.
With just a week before the deadline, no solution has been reached that would avert the mandated tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the beginning of the year. Last month, Affluent investors said that the fiscal cliff was the news story that was most impacting their economic outlook. In December, we asked what they considered to be the most serious threat to achieving their household’s financial goals at this time. Taking a big picture view, the largest percentage cited the partisan political climate, the factor they perceived to be the obstacle to reaching a solution.