Affluent investors looking for market cues to invest more toward their retirement this year are most watching stock market volatility and improvement in the job market, according to preliminary results from a Merrill Lynch semiannual survey.

The results are based on a national phone survey of 1,000 investors with $250,000 or more in investable assets. The full survey, titled Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights, is scheduled to be released in February. The initial findings that were released this week point to investors’ concerns heading into 2012.

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