Wealthy people are no longer feeling so flush, but they’re not quite so pessimistic about the economy either, especially those with written financial plans, according to the latest Phoenix Wealth Survey by Phoenix Wealth Management/Harris Interactive.
Despite a marked improvement in stock market performance, as many as 74% of high-net-worth people — those with $1 million or more of investable assets — are feeling substantially less wealthy than they did a year ago.
However, while one-fourth of the 1,835 respondents think the market will remain in a “prolonged economic downturn” for another two years, and an additional 13% of naysayers think the worst is yet to come, 26% of wealthy people are now confident that the recession is over.
Walter Zultowski, a senior adviser at Phoenix Cos., has polled wealthy people for the past 11 years. To him, one thing is clear, “These are bright people,” he said. “They don’t have a crystal ball but their views are worth something, and their cautious optimism is a positive sign.”
The survey found that while those with a written financial plan feel better about things than those who do not — 44% of high-net-worth individuals now have one, up from 39% last year — wealthy investors are dogged by fears about health-care costs, a direct result of the heated debate on health-care reform over the past year, and whether they can now sufficiently provide for their heirs.