A turbulent month in politics has contributed to ongoing US investor uncertainty about the direction of the American economy in August, according to Spectrem Group. While the Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence Index (SAICI) increased one point to seven, it was offset by the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index (SMICI), which decreased two points to 10. It is the first decline in the SMICI since May. Both indices now stand in neutral territory.
The monthly Spectrem Investor Confidence indices track changes in investment sentiment among the 17 million households in America with more than $500,000 of investable assets (SAICI), and those with $1 million or more (SMICI). This month’s survey was fielded between 16-22 August.
Historically, the Spectrem indices show greater investment optimism among millionaires than non-millionaires, but the August returns show an improved optimism among non-millionaires and a slight decrease in optimism among millionaires. Only 43.9 percent of non-millionaires said they would avoid investing in the coming month, a drop from 52.3 percent in July.
Asked to name the story most affecting their economic outlook, 40 percent of investors responded with "political environment", which has been consistent throughout 2017. In August, no other answer garnered more than 14 percent of selections (international problems received 14 percent of the votes).
The Spectrem Household Outlook, which measures long-term confidence in four financial factors that impact a household’s daily economic life, saw non-millionaires with a higher confidence rating than millionaires, the first time since October 2016.
"Volatility is generally low in August, as it is a slow month economically, and Congress is on its summer recess," said Spectrem president George H. Walper, Jr. “However, this year we experienced rising tensions with North Korea, fallout from Charlottesville and ongoing tensions between the President and Congress about health care, tax reform and the border wall with Mexico. It is a time of social and political uncertainty, and the indices reflect that.”
Spectrem analyses its primary research alongside investors to understand shifts and trends within the industry.