Millionaires Say They’re Better Off Than in 2007

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The good old days for the wealthy are now back.

A survey from Northern Trust found that three quarters of millionaires surveyed said they are better off, or as well off, as they were in 2007 — the peak for both wealth and sheer numbers of America's millionaires. Most cited improved investment returns as their reason for feeling better off.

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That confidence may soon start translating into hiring. Eighty percent of wealthy business owners say they plan to recruit more workers or keep their staff levels stable over the next 18 to 24 months. One in five plan to make capital investments in upgrading computers and other technology over the same period.

Still, the millionaires are less optimistic about the broader country. Two thirds of millionaires believe the country is worse off than it was in 2007. They blame the growing national debt and stubborn unemployment as the reasons.

Nearly a third blamed their negative outlook on the Obama administration.

In short, today's millionaires are feeling prosperous in their private life, but pessimistic about public life. "The survey results mirror our clients' divergent views around U.S fiscal policy," said Katie Nixon, Northern Trust's Chief Investment Officer for Wealth Management.

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When it comes to investment goals, more than a third of wealthy investors said growing wealth was their goal. About one quarter focus on generating income and the rest say capital preservation is their goal.