Looks like the one percent is joining the 99 percent...and shunning stocks:
New studies show that the wealthy are pulling back from stocks and stashing more of their money into real estate, art and even diamonds.
A recent survey from Harrison Group and American Express Publishing found that the wealthy have cut back their allocations to stocks dramatically since the economic crisis. In 2007, the top one-percenters (by income) invested 76 percent of their savings into stocks and financial investments. Now, it’s closer to 46 percent.
That may not sound like an important drop. But the wealthiest one percent own more than half of the individually held stocks in the U.S. When they stop buying, it matters.
All that cash on the sidelines may continue to grow. Harrison Group’s Jim Taylor predicts that total savings stashed away by the affluent could grow to $12 trillion by 2014, about double today’s levels.
A second study from Spectrem Group finds that millionaires are also pessimistic about stocks. The survey found that investor confidence among those with $1 million or more in investible assets dropped in April for the first time since last summer, when the U.S. debt crisis and Euro crisis started weighing on markets.
The main concerns for millionaire investors were (in order) the prolonged economic downturn, the political environment and national debt.
So what are the wealthy doing with their money?
Increasingly, they’re looking for hard assets, collectibles and real-estate.
Under the circumstances, it kind of makes you wonder why share prices are still as high as they are.