Abstract: Following a substantial decline in the economic outlook and spending plans of the affluent in our Fall 2011 survey, this new survey shows that the affluent have returned to a more positive perspective (similar to the Spring 2011 survey results) on current business conditions and their 12-month outlook for business conditions, the stock market, and their personal household income and net worth.
These results are consistent with the general Consumer Confidence Index reported by The Conference Board, and similar measures of consumer mood tracked by Bloomberg, Gallup, Discover Financial Services, and others.
As in the Spring 2011 survey, the relatively improved mood of the affluent appears to reflect a number of factors which include first quarter gains in the stock market and an improved outlook for their personal household income and net worth.
Spending plans for the 8 major items and the indexes for the change in spending for the 17 products and services tracked by these surveys are about equal or above those reported in the Spring 2011 survey. There are pockets of particular strength in the spending plans, especially among the wealthiest one percentile.
The purchase intentions for major items rose slightly from the Fall 2011 survey for a new motor vehicle, major home remodeling, and acquisition of a vacation home. The other major purchase items showed slight declines from the Fall 2011 survey. A substantial amount of possible additional purchases are represented by the respondents who are "undecided" about the acquisition of a cruise, auto, remodeling, a primary residence, and a vacation home.
The index for change in spending for all 17 product categories rose from the Fall 2011 survey. Increases were primarily single digits but 5 categories rose by double digits: domestic vacation travel, international vacation travel, dining in upscale restaurants, collectibles, and political contributions.
Executive Summary 4 -
Survey Highlights 8-16 -
Respondent Profile 17-18 1-2
Assessment of Current Business Conditions 19 3
Affluent Consumer Expectations (ACE) for Economy, Stock Market, and Household Income 20-24 -
Future Business Conditions 20 4
Expectations for Stock Market and Household Income 20 5-6
Affluent Consumer Expectations (ACE) Economic Indexes by Selected Demographic Segments 21 7
Historic Affluent Consumer Expectations (ACE) Economic Indexes 22-24 8-10
Outlook for Changes in Savings/Investments 25-26 -
Percent of Income Saved/Invested 25 11
Expectation of Changes in Household Savings in 2012 and Index for Change in Savings 26 12-13
Historical Index for Change in Savings 27 14
Primary Investment Objectives 28-29 15-16
Use of and Satisfaction with Investment Advisors 30-32 -
Primary Financial Advisor Companies 30 17
Satisfaction with Financial Advisor's Recommendations 31 18
Financial Security Compared to 2007 32 19
Plans to Purchase 8 Major Items in Next 12 Months 33-35 -
Major Expenditures in Next 12 Months by Selected Demographic Segments 33 20
Historic Intentions to Purchase 8 Major Items 34-35 21-22
Expected Changes in Spending for 17 Products and Services 36-44 -
Expected Changes in Spending During Next 12 Months 36 23
Historic Indexes for Expected Changes in Spending 37-42 24-29
Change in Spending Indexes for 17 Products and Services by Selected Demographic Segments 43 30
Historic Spending Indexes for Home Durables, Leisure, and Vacation Travel 44 31
Impact of Economic Conditions on Spending by the Affluent 45 -
Actions Taken (or Not) to Reduce Household Expenditures by Selected Demographic Segments 45 32
Historic Actions Taken (or Not) to Reduce or Defer Expenditures 45 33
Expected Time to Achieve Economic Recovery and Affect on Spending 46-53 34-41
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