Wealthy investors have turned an anxious eye toward Europe as the debt crisis continues to unfold.
According to a survey by Spectrem Group, individuals with more than $1 million in investable assets are more concerned about what could happen in Europe than the possibility of a fiscal cliff as tax cuts and spending cuts expire.
Roughly two-thirds of high-net-worth investors were changing their portfolio strategy based on Europe while just over half, or 51%, made changes in response to the fiscal cliff, according to the report.
As a result 23% of high-net-worth individuals are avoiding stocks and mutual funds with global exposure, and 18% are avoiding fixed-income products from other countries.
The fiscal cliff ranked somewhat lower on investors' minds as a majority believed that Congress would step in to block the fall before as the U.S. approached the fiscal cliff. More than 8% reported being "not at all concerned" about the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts along with federal spending cuts. Forty-four percent were only mildly concerned because they believed that political consensus would work to minimize the effects. Close to 47%, however, were "very concerned" that the nation could slip back into a recession.
In response to domestic concerns, millionaire investors are shifting their portfolios around. More than 30% are increasing cash revenues, and over 15% bumped up their share in "recession-proof" companies. Eleven percent allocated their assets more heavily in tax-sheltered accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs.
Spectrem Group's survey, which was conducted in July as part of their Millionaire Corner service, interviewed and recorded the responses of 1,400 investors. The questions asked were related to, but different from those in another recent Spectrem report that affluent investor confidence had hit a new eight-month low.
Mason Braswell writes for On Wall Street.