UBS Wealth Management Americas today released its second UBS Investor Watch report providing insights on core affluent and high net worth investor sentiment. The survey shows that, despite being increasingly concerned about the political environment in Washington and their personal ability to afford long-term care, investors are feeling better about their own financial situation. UBS Investor Watch indicates that long-term care concerns have surpassed retirement issues as the most critical of investors’ personal finance worries for the future. Still, investor confidence in their personal financial situations was at higher levels in January than before the U.S. elections. “The continued uncertainty in Washington is having a tremendous effect on investors,” said Paula Polito, Client Strategy Officer of UBS WMA. “Today, we are seeing long-term care trump retirement as investors' number one personal concern. The need for advice is even more critical in this environment.” Highlights from the January 2013 UBS Investor Watch report include:
- The political environment in Washington caps investors' list of top concerns: Three in four investors (76%) are worried about the political environment in Washington, with 60% stating they are dissatisfied with the recent Congressional agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.
- Government “kicking the can” impacts willingness to invest, return expectations and long-term outlook: 60% of investors are dissatisfied with the fiscal cliff agreement, and 90% feel the deal did not do enough to address the national debt problem. With that in mind, investors indicated a decline in long-term economic optimism, and they are continuing to adopt a wait-and-see mindset toward investing as Washington works through outstanding fiscal cliff issues.
- Long-term care trumps retirement as biggest personal concern: The ability to afford healthcare/support in old age is the top concern among investors, with 26% agreeing it's their main worry versus 14% who said having enough money for retirement was their primary fear. Nearly three in four investors (73%) listed “staying healthy / fit” among their top three objectives, versus one in four (26%) who said the ability to retire when and how they want is a top-three goal.
- However, investors feel more confident about their own financial situation than three months ago: 56% of investors say they feel “very good” or “excellent” about their financial situation, compared with 44% as indicated in the October 2012 Investor Watch report. And investors who consistently follow their own financial plan feel markedly better about their finances, with 73% saying they feel “excellent” and “very good.”
- Finally, investors believe that advice is central to achieving goals in this environment: Overall, 68% say receiving good advice is highly important to achieving their goals. And in particular, relating to recent events – post-election and prior to the fiscal cliff – investors were twice as likely to take action if they spoke with their advisors about these topics. Among investors who sought advice about the election, 76% were highly satisfied with the advice they received.
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