I'm OK, economy isn't

Nov 11, 2012 @ 12:01 am

By Esha Ray

U.S. investors may be worried about the economy, but they are more confident about their own situations.

According to a survey by PNC Wealth Management, more than half the investors polled reported that their net worth has grown at least 20% since 2007, and 73% said that they have strong control over their financial future.

Meanwhile, just 28% of the group said they are optimistic about the U.S. economy. And 67% said that they are still pessimistic about the world economy.

PNC conducted the survey online in August and September among 1,115 investors with over $500,000 in investible assets and a minimum annual income of $150,000 as part of its seventh annual Wealth and Values Survey.

Thomas Melcher, executive vice president and managing executive of Hawthorn PNC Family Wealth, thinks that these results aren't about optimism but about realism.

“People are optimistic, and their wealth is up, but if you really study the data, that's not exactly the story that comes through,” he said.

Four years after the beginning of the financial crisis, most investors have a greater appreciation for the “nonmaterial wealth” in their lives and said that it is more important to live within their financial means.

“[Investors] are asking questions of how much is enough. They realize that this might be the new normal, and maybe it's not going to go back to the way it was,” Mr. Melcher said.

“I think this is an opportunity for firms to work more holistically and look at investments as more multidimensional,” he said.

Overall, investors said that the technology, health care and energy sectors are the best industries for high returns over the next year. Twenty-two percent also said that moving their investment portfolio mix away from stocks was their most successful move in the past year, whereas 23% said that shifting their wealth into cash was least successful.

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