Millionaire investors are emerging from the year-end uncertainty with record confidence, according to a Spectrem Group survey.
For the first time since February, 2011, Millionaires have crossed over from an overall neutral stance on investing to being mildly bullish, as the index rose 13 points from -2 since December. Spectrem cited improvements in unemployment numbers and a 12% rise in the construction of new homes in December as some of the leading statistics helping build confidence.
The Millionaire Outlook rose for the second consecutive month, driven by an increase in confidence in the economy, Spectrem said.
Reflecting that trend, millionaires were also more active in the market for the month. Some riskier assets, like stocks, rose to a four-month high to a bullish rank of 39.9. Stock Mutual Funds jumped up 3.7 points to 33.8, a five-month high.
Still, stock market conditions ranked as the highest concern for millionaire investors. A third of millionaires polled reported this as the factor most affecting their investment plans, followed by the economic environment (18%) and the political climate (15%).
Affluent investors (between $500,000 and $1 million) were a little slower to start and remained cautious, according to the monthly survey. The affluent index still hovered at neutral after rising five points since December.
For those affluent investors who were planning to invest, there was a pullback from some of the cautious investments like cash and bonds, but stock and stock mutual fund indexes did not advance.
The survey and indices are compiled from 250 monthly interviews with financial decision makers with over $500,000 in investable assets. Bands of 31 to 51 are considered bullish, 11 to 30 is mildly bullish, 10 to -10 is neutral, an outlook of -11 to -30 is mildly bearish and -31 to -51 is bearish.
Spectrems survey results echo that of State Streets Global Investor Confidence Index, which indicated a significant rise in investor confidence in North America.