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Poll: Affluent Investors Better Off This Year

Citigroup Smith Barney released its latest poll of affluent investors. This time around--they polled investors mostly on their holiday shopping and charitable giving plans. The poll was conducted with investors who have at least $100,000 in financial assets (that's excluding real estate and employer retirement plans). FYI--that's a definition that describes about 25% of all U.S. households.

Craig Pfeiffer is Executive Vice President of Smith Barney Private Client Group. He was on "Morning Call" with the details. Here they are:

  • Nearly half of all affluent investors believe that today’s investment climate is better than a year ago. This represents a 10-point increase from just two months ago. “Affluent investors continue to be in a good mood as we head into the holiday season,” says Pfeiffer
  • Affluent investors again indicate that their personal finances are strong, with nearly half saying that they are financially better off today than they were a year ago. Only one in ten report being worse off than a year ago, the lowest totals for 2006.
  • Expectations regarding the nation’s economy for the coming months also continue to be positive. In particular, two out of three investors say that the country’s investment climate will be good over the next six months and one-third say that things will be better a year from now.
  • The affluent investors in this month’s Poll believe that it is important to support charitable causes, and more than nine out of ten act on this in one form or another, either by donating money, donating non-monetary items, or volunteering their time.
  • A small number of affluent investors indicate that they contribute to charity because they want to “make a difference in the world.” Two out of three believe their contributions make a difference to the organizations they support, although most characterize their support as making only “some” difference as opposed to “a great deal” of difference.
  • Tax advantages do not drive charitable contributions. Two-thirds of affluent investors say that their contributions to charity would stay the same even if they were not tax deductible.

Another FYI: Investors with $1 million or more--represent 43% of the interviews. And a disclosure here--the poll does not reflect Citigroup Smith Barney predictions or recommendations.

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