Optimism is soaring amongst the world’s wealthiest investors, according to two new surveys.
In the U.S., the number of millionaire households grew to 9.7 million in 2013, up from a post-crisis low of 6.7 million in 2007 and beating the previous pre-financial crisis record, according to the first of the two surveys, from Chicago-based market researcher the Spectrem Group.
This wealth boom came during a banner year for the markets. In 2013, the U.S. added 600,000 new millionaire households, while the S&P 500 rose about 26%.
“Most of the financial damage done by the recession has been erased by recent record-high markets in 2013 as well as the continued rebound in the real estate markets,” said Spectrem Group president George H. Walper Jr. in a statement. “In terms of the affluent investor, it is fair to say they have finally recovered from the economic downturn.”
Fortunes and confidence rose in overseas markets as well, according to the second survey. A majority of the global high-net-worth investors queried by deVere Group, a financial consulting firm, indicated that they were bullish about investing in 2014. At 57%, the ranks of bullish was four points higher than reported in the same poll last year, and nearly reached the all-time record level of optimism recorded in 2007.
“The overarching upbeat sentiment is, I suspect, a result of the U.S. economy performing strongly even with quantitative easing being tapered, the euro zone returning to growth, and the UK’s potential of reaching 3 per cent GDP growth this year, amongst other key factors,” stated deVere Group founder and chief executive Nigel Green.
Tom Elliot, deVere’s international investment strategist, added that while there were still reasons, such as China’s slowdown, to be cautious about the global markets, “There’s no doubt that, overall for high-net-worth investors, the world looks a safer, more ‘normal’ place now than it did this time last year.”
More than three quarters of the world’s wealthy said they were committed to investing more this year, according to the deVere survey. Similarly, Spectrem’s polling revealed that American investors with a net worth of at least $5 million planned to invest more in equities this year. Half of those high-net-worth respondents also indicated that they were willing to invest outside the U.S.