Be very afraid — the wealthy are
Forty-six percent of the wealthiest U.S. families believe they can lose everything, said Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group, a market research and strategy firm in Waterbury, Conn.
“That’s up from about 35 percent in June, up from a little under 20 percent in April, and up from zero percent a couple of years ago,” Taylor told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit on Tuesday, citing the findings of his latest quarterly survey of affluent individuals taken Sept. 19-23.
Respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement that “I worry that at some point I could run out of money.”
“We have seen an astonishing increase in the perception of risk. And the risk is not generally to the business, the risk is to their own personal wealth,” he said.
Other highlights from the survey by the Harrison Group and American Express Publishing include:
— Sixty percent of wealthy families believe the U.S. economy will slip into a recession that will last more than a year, starting in September. Only 4 percent expect it will be over in six months.
— In 2005, 93 percent of America’s affluent and wealthy people were confident about their future. Last December, that number was down to 70 percent. In the September quarter, it slid to 55 percent.
– By Jason Szep in Boston