The rich aren’t so different than anyone else. They just have better advice. Which is what makes their investing habits worth watching.
Like other Americans, high net-worth investors are feeling upbeat about the economy’s near-term fortunes of late, according to a new survey by the research firm Phoenix Marketing International. Among those with $1 million or more to invest, 53 percent described themselves as mostly or extremely optimistic in their outlook for the next three months—up 12 percentage points from January. The survey reached 1,175 respondents with its online questionnaire in late February and early March.
“It’s not unexpected given the turnaround in equity markets and better news from Europe,” says David Thompson, managing director of Phoenix Affluent Market. But in the five years his firm has been tracking these high rollers, Thompson adds, “it hasn’t jumped like that.”
Since high net worth individuals tend to move quickly on their perceptions of the market, it might be expected that their optimism would have them jumping into equities with both feet. In fact, most wealthy investors and their advisors told Phoenix they were happy to remain on the sidelines. “It’s a little puzzling,” says Thompson. “Investment did spike up toward end of 2011, then fell back.”