Live

Watch CBSN Live

Millionaire Message: Poorer but Cautiously Optimistic

Millionaires, still smarting from the economic melt-down that left some 74% of them feeling poorer last year, say they're becoming "cautiously optimistic," according to the annual Phoenix Wealth Survey.

The survey, now a decade old, monitors the attitudes and financial behaviors of people with a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding their homes), believing that these well-heeled folks are somewhat more insightful about the financial world than the run-of-the mill consumer.

"If our respondents' intituion about the economy is on the money, we may be able to look forward to better days ahead," said Walter H. Zultowski, a senior advisor to Phoenix Cos., which hires Harris Interactive to interview more than 1,800 millionaires to conduct the survey.

Where 40% of respondents were very pessimistic about the nation's economic future a year ago, just 28% are equally pessimistic today. Last year just 30% were at least "slightly optimistic" about the economy, but some 39% say they're somewhat optimistic today.

But the millionaire prognosis doesn't come without a basket full of reservations. A full 75% of the respondents said they remain "concerned" about the economy and some 16% are "extremely concerned." That's an improvement from a year ago, but a subtle one.

Last year 88% of respondents were "concerned" about the economy and some 22% were extremely concerned.

The majority, some 53%, said they think the worst is over, but the recovery will be slow. Some 25% think we'll remain in a prolonged downturn for the next two years. Only 7% said they thought we were already coming out of the recession.

By the way, if you think accumulating $1 million would allow you to leave your financial worries behind, think again.

Only 4% of millionaires said they felt "extremely secure" over the long term and just 26% felt "very secure." Some 2% said they were not secure at all, while another 8% were "not very" secure. The bulk of millionaires were in the middle--feeling "moderately" secure.

More on MoneyWatch
How to Boost Your Investment Returns
What Obama's Tax Return Says About the First Family
The Hidden Cost of College

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue