Despite having an average of $3.5 million in investable assets and $306,000 in annual income, almost half of U.S. millionaires do not feel wealthy but do feel confident to invest in the stock market, according to Fidelity Investments 3rd Annual Millionaire Outlook.
The national survey of more than 1,000 millionaire households done in February by an independent research firm found that 46% of millionaires don't feel wealthy and the leading reason they feel that way is because of stock market losses.
However, about the same percentage said they would be confident enough to invest in the stock market at where it closed yesterday (8,410.65 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average). Thirty-nine percent said they would be confident enough to invest if the DJIA was between 7,000 and 7,999 and another 9% said they would if it was between 8,000 and 8,999.
When it comes to adding to their portfolios over the next year, 32% said they would invest in bonds, other fixed-income products or cash, 31% said they would invest more in individual stocks and 25% said they would invest in mutual funds (not including lifecycle funds). Health care, infrastructure and green tech were sectors that garnered the most interest.
Most millionaires surveyed (77%) say that the current economic environment is the worst they have experienced (only three polled had experienced the Great Depression). The average age of those who participated was 59. Men constituted 59% of respondents and women, 41%.
Based on their past experience, the top three pieces of advice millionaires would give investors trying to cope with the current environment are: Stay the course; remain calm and be optimistic; and cut back on spending and save more.
The majority of millionaires surveyed are bracing themselves for significant tax increases in the next five years. Seventy-two percent expect higher capital gains taxes, 67% a higher dividend tax rate and 62% a higher federal income tax rate. To prepare for expected tax hikes, half of millionaires (50%) plan to sell poorly performing investments in the next 12 months to offset capital gains on other, better-performing investments. Millionaires surveyed also plan to increase their pretax income deductions to avoid higher federal income taxes, while almost a third (29%) will invest more in tax-advantaged mutual funds to avoid higher dividend taxes.
The survey was conducted by Richard Day Research and has a margin of error of +/- 3%.