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WAM Insights: High Net Worth Investors’ Optimism Grows for the Fifth Consecutive Month

October 1, 2020

Economic Outlook:

The Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor Economic Optimism trend line improves from 41% in August to 44% in September among HNW investors, marking another new record high since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US. This month is the fifth straight in which Economic Optimism has grown among the HNW audience, a streak that has not been matched in the last two years. Additionally, optimism improves among the Mass Affluent investor segment, improving to 45% this month, which also sets a new record for that segment since ratings plummeted in March due to COVID-19.

Investing Outlook:

The Wealth & Affluent Monitor’s Investment Outlook – the percentage of affluent investors planning to increase their level of investments in the next three months – achieved slight gains this month among High Net Worth, though still only around 1 out of 3 all respondents report that they will increase their investments in the coming months. 34% of Mass Affluent investors are likely to increase their investments – in line with last month’s results, and their highest level since Coronavirus hit – and 35% of HNW investors agree, which marks two straight waves where the Investment Outlook has grown by 2% in that audience. The current plan for close to two-thirds of both the Mass Affluent and HNW audience continues to be making no changes to one’s investments or finances.

Perspective:

Findings from the September 2020 Phoenix Wealth & Affluent Monitor reflect slow but steady improvement in investor sentiment since COVID-19 first began, though Economic Optimism levels are still far below pre-pandemic ratings. Along with this positive movement in overall optimism, HNW investors in particular are showing signs of increasing their Investment Outlook in the upcoming three months – numbers that had previously lagged behind the growth seen in market optimism. Financial services companies can take solace in the fact that investors are continually feeling more confident and hopeful about the US economy and their likelihood to make major financial decisions, though understandably these sentiment ratings still have a long way to go before matching levels seen before COVID-19. The upcoming elections or other potential market activity in Q4 may impact these trends, but as of September, HNW and Mass Affluent investors are still steadily increasing both their Economic Optimism and Investment Outlook.

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