A simple plan from the rich to guard their millions

Hot sectors for rich Americans
Hot sectors for rich Americans   

America's millionaires are more confident about the U.S. economy than they are about the stock market, but they are planning to make some bullish bets next year, concentrated in the technology, financials and energy sectors.

Tom Wynn, director of affluent research at Spectrem Group, which surveyed 500 mass affluent Americans in November for the CNBC Millionaire Survey, said economic confidence typically precedes market confidence for the professionals, senior corporate executives, managers and business owners included in the survey audience.

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"These people first make sure their company is fully employed and doing well before seeing them exhibit more market confidence," Wynn said. "But at the same time, anticipation of a 5 to 10 percent [S&P 500] return is not bad."

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Mass affluent investors, who tend to be conservative by nature, plan to have 49 percent of their portfolios allocated to equities, up from 42 percent when the survey was last conducted, in March 2014.

But roughly one-third of millionaires said they don't know where they will invest in 2015.

Affluent investors are planning to be broadly based in their market bets, with Vanguard Group funds the most commonly cited investment for the next 12 months.

Apple was the only individual stock to be cited by millionaires as a top investment for 2015—with Fidelity Investments and American Funds joining Vanguard as the most commonly cited investments for the next 12 months.

Nineteen percent of millionaires said they will invest the most in the technology sector among all sectors next year, consistent with the findings from the March 2014 CNBC Millionaire Survey.

The preference for technology holds true regardless of age, though younger millionaires (55 and under) do show the greatest risk tolerance for tech stocks, with 25 percent of this age group saying that the tech sector will be its largest investment in 2015. But even retired affluent investors show the greatest interest in technology investments.

For investors with more than $5 million in assets, health care is an area of particular interest. The greatest divergence between the $5 million+ investors and the $1 million to $5 million investors is over the health-care sector—17 percent of the wealthier investors are betting on health care next year versus only 11 percent for the broader group of affluent investors.

Investments in the millionaire doghouse

Little care for Obamacare: While Democrats broadly support President Obama's Affordable Care Act—and it's been a boon to recent earnings in the health sector—Democrats aren't planning on health-care stock investments in the next year.

A demographic demise: Industrials, utilities and energy have been staple sectors for affluent investors in recent decades, but maybe not for much longer. Younger investors are favoring the technology and financial sector to a significant extent, indicating a pattern that may be here to stay—at the expense of the older "stalwart" sectors.

Two of a neglected kind: Materials and consumer discretionary are the two sectors that see the least investing dollars—roughly 40 percent of millionaires invest in these sectors. For investors with more than $5 million in investable assets specifically, these sectors are also the least popular.

The indelectable collectible: If you associate the affluent with collectibles, you're wrong. Among investors with $1 million to $5 million in investable assets, collectibles aren't even on their radar. And only 2 percent of investors with $5 million+ in assets plan to invest in collectibles. It's the superrich, not mass affluent, who are active in the collectibles market.

(Source: Spectrem Group)