Investors Uncertain, But Saving and Budgeting More

Nearly half of affluent investors expect today’s economic uncertainty not only to continue, but also to be “more of a permanent reality,” according to the latest Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey. Despite these fears, 35% of the survey’s respondents believe their financial situation will improve next year and 41% expect it to remain about the same.

Gender played a role in the level of optimism. Men were more likely to believe their financial situation will improve next year than women (43% to 28%). Similarly, among those who weren’t expecting their financial situation to improve next year, 68% of women said the ongoing market volatility would play a role, versus 54% of men.

Many affluent investors said they are taking actions to better control their finances, however. One-third of the survey’s respondents said they are living more within their means. Similarly, 32% are more vigilantly sticking to a budget. About 30% consulted their spouse more often when making financial decisions.

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