Growing Concerned Once Again

Michael Panzner
updated | Author's Website

I’ve often made fun of the so-called smart money. Among other things, many of those who hold themselves out to be experts on financial matters failed to see the financial crisis coming and totally missed the boat when it came to predicting the severity of the subsequent downturn.

Nonetheless, it might be time for a reassessment.

For one thing, there are plenty of charlatans, lucky-breakers, and analytically depraved “strategists” running around Wall Street and other financial enclaves who give the appearance of being tuned in to what is going on but who are actually quite clueless.

Clearly, these individuals shouldn’t be characterized as “smart” in any sense of the word except with respect to their ability to fool a great many people some of the time.

However, those who have a serious wad of cash and who like to sling it around in markets were apparently more prescient than your average Wall-Streeter when it came to anticipating the ugliness that fell upon us during 2008, according to a firm that keeps tabs on what the wealthy are up to.

More importantly, as Pragmatic Capitalism notes in “The Super Rich Are Super Pessimistic,” they are reportedly growing concerned once again about where things are headed:

One of the most glaring trends in the 2008 bear market was the increasing bearishness of the super rich.  Generally thought of as more savvy investors and less susceptible to economic downturn, this group of investors proved more vulnerable than many previously thought.  As the super rich pulled out of the markets in 2008 and pulled in their purse strings the economy ground to a halt.

Data released from Spectrem Group shows that the super rich are again becoming very bearish.  Their Millionaire Investor Confidence Index plummeted to a new 2010 low and fell the most since summer of 2009.  George H. Walper, Jr., President of Spectrem Group says the decline is worrisome:

“Millionaires posted their biggest decline in investment confidence in more than a year in August, while affluent investors saw their confidence decline for a third-straight month. The millionaires’ decline is particularly troubling since it suggests millionaires, typically more sophisticated than the broader affluent population, are reverting to a bearish frame of mind.”

mill THE SUPER RICH ARE SUPER PESSIMISTIC

Source: Spectrem Group

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