Like most everybody else, the wealthy are concerned with the state of the economy and where it’s headed. They just feel able to cope with it.
According to the Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey, 42 percent of affluent Atlantans _ those with $250,000 or more in liquid assets to invest _ believe that the uncertain economy of the post-recession years is the “new normal” and that the country is not merely experiencing a brief period of high volatility.
Yet, 98 percent feel they are prepared to deal with that uncertainty.
Almost half of those surveyed explained that they have taken steps to gain greater control over their financial lives during the last year, and 47 percent said they have adopted more conservative spending habits.
“Affluent people in Atlanta are taking better care of their financial lives now,” said John Inhouse, managing director of the Atlanta Buckhead office for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Inhouse described their mood as “cautiously optimistic.”
The affluent are fairly optimistic about next year as well, with 47 percent describing themselves as hopeful about their financial situation for 2013, and 35 percent saying they expect their finances to improve.
The main reason for their optimism: 43 percent anticipate making career advancements. Other reasons included their ability to take advantage of investment opportunities and being more disciplined in their spending.
The number of affluent people in Atlanta is projected to grow.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management estimates that during the next five years, the number of households here with $250,000 or more in investable assets will grow by 16 percent. That will lead most cities in the United States. By comparison, the number of households considered affluent will grow by 6.5 percent in New York and by 9.1 percent in Los Angeles.