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Affluent Investors' Optimism Elevated Amid 20 Percent Increase In Net Worth Since 2007

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- America's affluent have grown considerably more optimistic in their assessments of the U.S. economy and their own investment prospects although there is anxiety over the global economy, according to survey findings by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

More than half (52 percent) of the respondents report that their net worth has grown at least 20 percent since 2007, consistent with annualized returns of five percent for stocks and bonds over the past five years, and 73 percent believe they have "a lot of control over their financial future," according to the seventh annual Wealth and Values Survey Investors' Outlook.

Optimism on a U.S. economic recovery is on the rise, with 28 percent giving it a thumbs up, which is a dramatic increase from just 10 percent a year ago. Last year, 76 percent were pessimistic about the U. S. economy and that number has fallen to 51 percent this year.  However, 67 percent are pessimistic about the world economy. 

Affluent investors are seeing brighter signs in some areas of investing, including stock market performance (41 percent positive versus 19 percent last year); for "individual components in my portfolio" (44 percent compared to 26 percent last year) and the real estate market (36 percent optimistic this year vs. nine percent in 2011).

Lessons Learned

The survey revealed "best and worst investment moves" made by affluent investors over the past year.  Two-thirds (64 percent) identified a proactive step that failed to work as planned while one-third (32 percent) said doing nothing was their worst move.

The shift of investment mix away from stocks was the most successful move cited by 22 percent of the respondents followed by the purchase of high tech stocks (17 percent) and real estate (12 percent). The least successful moves were the shift to cash or cash equivalents (23 percent), international markets (22 percent) and real estate (13 percent).

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