A different picture emerges for investors with an average of 500,000 dollars. For this group, confidence has been shaken, with fewer than half expressing a high level certainty they will achieve their financial goals. Just 60 percent of affluent investors, who have $2.3 million on average, express a high level of confidence.

Investing Amid Uncertainty

The need to align financial goals with investments emerged as an important theme for high-net-worth respondents. A large majority (81 percent) said they prioritize the achievement of their life goals when they do their financial planning. Forty-one percent believe diversification of their investments is the most important action they have taken to make sure their life goals are met. Nearly one quarter said they had also increased their savings to achieve their long-term goals.

“Our survey found that 63 percent of wealthy investors are willing to take a calculated risk," said Ms. Nixon. “We know that risk and return are related, and we believe in taking thoughtful risk for clients to enable them to accomplish their financial goals. The success of this approach is no longer measured solely as performance versus an industry benchmark, but is measured against the achievement of client goals. Re-defining success, and building portfolios aligned with goals allows clients to avoid some of the behavioral pitfalls that plague investors."

More information is available on Northern Trust’s website at http://www.northerntrust.com/wealthinamerica.

Northern Trust’s nationwide survey of wealthy individuals seeks to highlight important wealth management issues. The online interviews were conducted by Phoenix Marketing International and NIA Enterprises between November 16 and December 17, 2012. The data contained in this report came from 1,700 online interviews and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence.

Northern Trust is a premier wealth management firm that specializes in goals-based financial advice. We offer clients insightful perspectives and creative thinking, backed by innovative technology and a strong fiduciary ethos. Northern Trust is ranked among the top 10 U.S. wealth managers with $197.7 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012, and more than 70 wealth management offices in the United States and abroad. The Financial Times Group has named Northern Trust Best Private Bank in the USA for four consecutive years. In 2012 Northern Trust was also was named Best Private Bank globally for Innovation and Best Private Bank for Socially Responsible Investing.

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