Confidence among millionaires and affluent investors rose in September, according to Spectrem Group.

The Chicago research company said its Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index rose five points in September, to negative-five, posting its third consecutive monthly gain. The advance, after a six-point increase in August, kept the index in neutral territory for a second consecutive month.

The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index rose five points in September, to negative-13. Despite this third straight advance, the affluent index remained in "mildly bearish" territory.

"These advances suggest a slow but steady improvement in the confidence of America's wealthiest investors," said George H. Walper Jr., Spectrem's president.

In response to an open-ended question about the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals, affluent investors in September cited: the economy (24%); the political climate (16%); unemployment (12%); market conditions (10%); inflation (5%); and health-related issues (4%). Those citing the economy rose from 22% in June, the last time this question was asked, while those citing the political climate fell from 22%.

Millionaires were slightly less worried about the economy (22%) than the affluent but expressed equal concern about the political climate (16%).

The affluent index is based on 250 monthly interviews with the financial decision makers in households with $500,000 or more of investable assets. The millionaire index is based on a subset of the overall survey group.

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