Moderately wealthy people have contradictory views of the economy and how to plan for the future, according to a recent survey by Citigold, the wealth management arm of Citibank.
According to the survey of 616 people with an average income of $150,000 and average investable assets of $250,000, more than half of the respondents (63%) are somewhat optimistic about the state of the economy for the next 12 months. Yet, 70% feel their children will not be better off than they are.
At the same time, more than half (52%) rate the economy as "only fair." Exactly half say they are about in the same position economically as they were a year ago.
Despite the volatility of the market, 63% say they are willing to continue to risk the market, but 73% say the volatility is making it difficult to make decisions.
Seventy-four percent say they turn to a financial advisor for help, a number far ahead of the next source of advice: family members, who are relied on by 46%. Respondents were allowed to select more than one answer to the question.
Of the nearly three quarters of respondents who rely on a financial advisor, 38% turned to a financial planner and 28% to an investment advisor, while the rest turn to accounts, bankers and others. At the same time, 69% say their reliance on a financial advisor has not changed because of the 2008 crisis.
The financial crisis has not affected the risk tolerance of the largest group (46%), but it has made 42% somewhat more or significantly more conservative in their investments, the survey says.
When questioned about their biggest concern for the future, the largest group (40%) say they fear not being able to retire comfortably and the next largest group (36%) say they fear they cannot maintain their current lifestyle.
Although 44% of the respondents consider themselves self-directed in their investments, 89% feel it would be extremely valuable or somewhat valuable to have a financial advisor or financial services firm that could assess their entire financial picture to provide advice on investments and banking needs.