Nearly 4 in 10 millionaires said they would move to the investment sidelines over the next month, as uncertainty around the presidential election added to their ongoing anxiety about the markets.
According to a survey by Spectrem Group, 36 percent of millionaire investors said they planned to sit out the next month. That was up from 26 percent in September's survey.
Affluent investors, who have $500,000 or more in investible assets, were even more likely to stay on the sidelines, at 43 percent. The survey of 250 people was conducted in mid-October.
"There are two uncertainties," said George Walper, president of Spectrum. "First, they are not confident in the economy and they are slightly concerned that the stock market may be at its high. And secondly, they just don't know how the election is going to impact the market, so they may just sit on the sidelines until after the election and any related volatility has settled."
Despite these concerns, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index — a tool that measures investors' economic outlook, hypothetical investor preferences and investment intentions — ticked up to 9 from 5 in September. Based off Spectrem's scale, that means they remain neutral about the market.
As for their views on the economy and their personal finances, millionaire investors' attitudes were highly correlated to their political leanings. Spectrem's confidence index for millionaire Democrats rose 26 points (to 17 from minus 9 in September), and fell by 3 points to 3 among Republicans. It was unchanged for independents.
"The biggest issue that we've seen through this election cycle is that Democratic affluent investors tend to be more optimistic about the economy, while Republican affluent investors tend to be more pessimistic," Walper said. "The political affiliation really shapes the investor views."