American millionaires are betting that stocks finish the year up 5 percent to 10 percent, and most plan to put new cash into tech and financial stocks.
The first-ever CNBC Millionaire's Survey, which polled 514 people with investable assets of $1 million or more (which represents the top 8 percent of American households), found that millionaires plan to put nearly half their new investment dollars into equities this year and only 14 percent in cash. Since the top 10 percent of Americans own more than 80 percent of stocks, the positive mood of millionaire investors could bode well for the market.
The online survey was conducted in March by SpectremGroup on behalf of CNBC. It polled wealthy individuals from across the country that were split between Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Yet the millionaires also project that interest rates will end higher, and more than half believe the U.S. economy will be the same or weaker at the end of the year.
The survey also found that wealthier investors (those with $5 million or more in investable assets) are slightly more bullish on stocks and the economy and more likely to invest in tech stocks.
When asked where the S&P 500 Index would end the year, 54 percent said it would be up 5 percent to 10 percent. Only 16 percent said it would be up more than 15 percent, and 16 percent said it would end flat. Only 7 percent said it would end the year down 5 percent to 10 percent.
Millionaires are putting their money where their mood is. When asked where they would invest new money this year, the largest number (46 percent) said equities, followed by fixed income (21 percent) and then short-term cash instruments (14 percent).
Among sectors, technology is the favorite new investment for 2014, followed by financials, energy and health care.
The wealthier investors (those worth $5 million or more) are even more bullish on technology, with 22 percent listing it as their top sector for 2014. They're also far more bullish than lesser millionaires on health care, with 15 percent listing it as their top sector.
Currently, millionaires have 44 percent of their investments in stocks, 15 percent in fixed income and 19 percent in real estate.
While millionaires as a group are confident about stocks and their own fortunes, they are more cautious about the overall economy.
Millionaires were split between those who said the economy would end the year flat (43 percent) and those who said it would be stronger (42 percent). Only 12 percent said it would end weaker.
Part of that weakness may be due to interest rates. A majority (59 percent) said interest rates would be higher at the end of the year, while 39 percent said they would be about the same.