Their view of their own finances, however, is anything but bleak. Close to three-quarters of high-net-worth Americans were confident that they will achieve their financial goals, with only one in five less confident now than they were in 2007. More than four in 10 (41%) cited improved investment returns as the main reason they feel better off today, according to the survey.
Wealthy Americans were split on their primary investment objectives, with 37% leaning toward growing wealth and 23% focused on generating income. The remainder said their paramount concern was capital preservation.
A different picture emerges for less affluent Americans. Confidence among the mass-affluent, or those with an average of $500,000 in assets, was severely bruised, with fewer than half expressing a high level of certainty that they will achieve their financial goals. And among the affluent, or those with an average of $2.3 million in assets, 60% expressed a high level of confidence.
The survey polled 1,700 mass-affluent, affluent and high-net-worth individuals between November 16 and December 17, 2012. Mass-affluent participants had between $250,000 and $999,999 in investable assets; affluent participants had between $1 million and $4.99 million in investable assets; and high-net-worth participants had $5 million or more in investable assets. The online interviews were conducted by Phoenix Marketing International and NIA Enterprises.