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Morgan Stanley poll shows Colorado investors share positive economic outlook

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January 30, 2015, 8:34 am

DENVER, Colo. – Colorado high net worth (HNW) investors are optimistic about their Colorado state economy and their local Colorado economy for 2015, according to a new Morgan Stanley Wealth Management poll conducted among high net worth investors (investable assets of $100,000 or more) in late 2014.

92% of Colorado HNW investors expect the Colorado economy to be the same or improve and 91% say the same of the local economy. Somewhat fewer express optimism about the national economy; 80% who feel it will be the same or better. However, this figure is up 9 points from September 2014 when Colorado investors were asked the same question. Global economic optimism is somewhat higher than last September among HNW investors at 77%; previously, it was 72%.

Issues including the increasing income gap between poor and wealthy Americans (83%) and the government budget deficit (82%) top the list of Colorado HNW investors’ concerns. A whopping 90% still expect their investment portfolios will be the same or improve in the coming year, 77% expect the overall investment climate will be the same or improve and 89% are confident they will achieve their long-term financial goals.

INVESTORS’ “BEST BETS” FOR 2015: TECHNOLOGY, Energy, STOCKS, THE UNITED STATES

When Colorado HNW investors consider the investment potential for various financial products for 2015, they are most optimistic about dividend-bearing stocks (58% good), mutual or exchange-traded funds (50%), S&P 500 Index Funds (48%), cash (46%) and REITs (40%).

Thinking about the investment potential for various sectors for 2015, Technology (85% good), Energy (74%), Pharmaceutical (65%), Real Estate (64%) and Biotech (64%) lead the way.

Looking around the world, the U.S. (60% good) is viewed as having the best investment potential, followed by India (45%), Japan (44%), Western Europe (37%) and China (36%).

INVESTORS SEEK ADVICE ON ASSET ALLOCATION AND RETIREMENT INCOME

65% of Colorado HNW investors seek the counsel of a financial professional, most commonly a CFP® or financial advisor. The most desired types of assistance are: guidance on portfolio asset allocation (95%); clear communications regarding how assets can contribute to a retirement income stream (94%); portfolio downside protection guidance (93%); and, analyses of what is going on in the economy and markets and how it impacts their portfolio (93%) and new investment ideas (91%).

COLORADO HNW Investors See College Education as Important but are Concerned about Cost

More than half (55%) of Colorado HNW investors agree that a college degree is a “must-have” today. However, there are concerns about costs as 79% say that fast-rising tuition costs and expenses are unjustified. Regardless, 23% agree that a college degree is worth it at “any cost.” This figure is down 10 points from September 2014, when 33% of Colorado HNW investors agreed that a college degree is worth it at “any cost.” To address these costs, half say that hardworking students who apply themselves will find the financial aid and scholarships needed to pay for college (51%).

The Morgan Stanley poll was conducted via telephone interviews from October 14 through December 2, 2014, by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications. A total of 301 respondents in the greater Denver market were interviewed using a listed sample of landline phone numbers pre-identified as high net worth households ($100,000 or more in liquid investable assets). Respondents were required to be between the ages of 25 and 75 years old and to be one of the primary decision makers in the household for financial matters. Quotas were applied in order to obtain approximately one-third in each of the following categories: $100,000 to $499,000; $500,000 to $999,000; and $1 million or more in investable assets. Results were then weighted to age within each of these three asset classes using the Federal Government’s Survey of Consumer Finances data. The margin of error on the total sample is +/-5.6 percentage points on the total; the margin of error among subgroups is higher.

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