“It’s the economy, stupid,” is a refrain from the 1992 presidential election, but it seems to be the primary concern for investors in this year’s presidential race, too, according to UBS Wealth Management Americas.
According to the UBS Investor Watch report, "Electing the Economy," 84 percent of wealthy investors say their biggest concern about the upcoming presidential election is its impact on the economy. That concern outweighs those about health care, immigration, terrorism or national security. Wealthy investors are defined as those with $1 million or more in investable assets, except for those under age 36 where lower levels of investable assets applied.
Sixty-eight percent of 2,344 wealthy investors surveyed feel that the country has lost its competitive edge, and 57 percent believe it is more difficult for Americans today to rise up from humble beginnings. Only one-third are optimistic that future generations will have it better than we do today.
The effect this concern is having on investors is dramatic. Forty-seven percent are considering reducing their allocations to stocks, while 9 percent already have. One quarter are considering pulling out of the stock market entirely and 5 percent have done so.
Regardless of their party affiliation, 77 percent of investors believe this presidential election is a game-changing event that will have a major impact on the direction of the country. Three-quarters believe this year’s contest is more significant than others in recent history.