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WAM Insights: Affluent Investors are Mixed About Where the U.S. Economy is Headed

July 6, 2021

Economic Outlook

Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor Economic Optimism increased among Mass Affluent households but decreased among High Net Worth households. Mass Affluent Optimism erased its May decline, while reaching 64% this month, the same as in April 2021. The seven-percentage point increase was accompanied by a six-percentage point decrease in Pessimism. Among HNW households, Optimism and Pessimism both decreased two percentage points to 59% and 31%, respectively, while Uncertainty increased to 10%.

Investing Outlook

The June 2021 Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor Investment Outlook follows a similar pattern as the Economic Outlook among both Mass Affluent and HNW investors. There was a two-percentage-point increase (to 40%) among Mass Affluent investors who expect to increase their investments over the next three months, coupled with a two-point drop among those who expect to make a net decrease in their investments. June results show a significant reduction in HNW investors who expect to increase their investments in the next three months, from 47% in May to 35% in June. Those investors who are expecting to make no changes to their portfolios increased from 49% in May to 60% in June, while those who expect to decrease their investments remained steady at 5%.

Perspective

April 2021 had marked the pinnacle of a months-long, post-pandemic increase in Economic Optimism among HNW investors; however, since April, economic uncertainty and pessimism have increased again. For Mass Affluent investors, it appears that May’s Optimism decrease was a hiccup, as it returned to 64% as it was in April. Among the HNW audience, it remains to be seen if Economic Optimism is merely leveling off, or if a new downward trend has begun. Overall, investors currently remain much more optimistic and interested in growing their investable assets now compared to the same time last year. Affluent investors are clearly hopeful about 2021 and their financial situations overall, but the ongoing fears of a potential increase in COVID-19 cases/variants and its negative impact on the economy still weigh on the mind of those with $1MM+ assets.

 

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