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The Minds of Millionaires

Previously in this space we discussed how wealthy investors could influence the upcoming Presidential election. Now, we want to take a look at another important, although somewhat more elite group, millionaires. The thoughts and feelings of millionaires should interest not only political candidates, but also investment firms.

As part of a poll that Maritz Research conducted last spring, we spoke with about 175 millionaires. Although millionaires are not painting a rosy picture of the economy, some signs of optimism are appearing regarding their perceptions of their investment firms and financial advisors.

First, the harsh reality – only 28% of millionaires consider the economy to be healthy. And millionaires remain cautious when considering the nation’s economic prospects as only 57% believe the economy is improving and will continue to improve, a figure that is relatively unchanged from the 54% of millionaires who expected the economy to improve when they were surveyed in 2010 following the financial crisis. Millionaires give the government higher marks for steering the economy through difficult economic times now (38%) than in the wake of the financial crisis (23%), yet these numbers appear to be less than a ringing endorsement for the Obama Administration. Moreover, millionaires seem resigned to the fact that they will be paying more taxes as 68% believe their taxes will increase over the next couple of years.

Now, let’s take a look at the positive side. Millionaires seem to have regained confidence in the investment industry as 84% believe their investment firms are financially stable in 2012 compared to the 74% who expressed that opinion in 2010. Further, 86% are satisfied with their investment firm now compared to 67% back in 2010. Financial advisors are being perceived in a better light in 2012 as 73% of millionaires are satisfied with the job their advisor has done managing their portfolios through difficult economic times compared to the 59% who were satisfied with how their advisor managed their portfolio through the financial crisis in 2010.