Citigroup Unveils Latest Smith Barney Affluent Investor Poll
Six-Month Review: Investment Climate and Energy Costs
July 14, 2006 - New York – Citigroup Smith Barney has announced the results of its latest monthly poll of affluent investors. The poll was conducted with investors who have at least $100,000 in financial assets (excluding real estate and employer retirement plans), a definition that describes approximately 25% of all U.S. households. Investors with $1 million or more represent 47% of the interviews.
All results are specifically from those investors interviewed for the Citigroup Smith Barney Affluent Investor Poll between June 1 and June 15. The poll does not reflect Citigroup Smith Barney predictions or recommendations.
Investor Poll Highlights
Affluent investors in the latest Citigroup Smith Barney Affluent Investor Poll were asked about their outlook for the current and future economic climate, trends in their personal finances, and their views on issues of national concern. Results of this month’s poll are compared to initial poll results from January 2006.
* Investor optimism reflects a downward trend since the poll’s inception in January 2006. Just one-third of affluent investors describe the country’s investment climate as better today than it was a year ago; this is down 11 percentage points from January.
* Investors’ faith in the country’s economic leadership appears shaken. While only 32% of affluent investors say they are satisfied with the President’s management of the economy, far fewer (8%) are satisfied with Congress’ economic stewardship and 76% say they are dissatisfied.
* Outlook among those with one million or more in assets has started to align more with those of the overall affluent investor community. Only one in three now believes the investment climate is better today compared to a year ago, down more than 25% from January.
* Energy costs are seen as a growing problem with increasingly tangible consequences. Energy costs are mentioned most often as the leading economic problem facing the country today. About one-quarter of affluent investors report that energy costs are having a major impact on their ability to save and invest, their overall feeling of financial security and, more generally, on their day-to-day lifestyle.
* Foreign oil-producing nations and energy companies share the blame for elevated energy costs in the minds of these affluent investors. More than two in ten name these parties as most responsible for rising energy prices. At the same time, investors also recognize the negative contribution of auto owners and the impact of natural disasters on the current cost of energy.
* While investors strongly favor economic and regulatory steps to address rising energy costs, relatively few have taken major individual steps to save energy. Investors strongly favor initiatives to require higher corporate average fuel economy standards from auto manufacturers and increase production and usage of ethanol and natural gas.
Background and Methodology
Greenwald & Associates and Synovate conducted the Citigroup Smith Barney Affluent Investor Poll June 1 to June 15. Interviewing was conducted online with 528 investors who are members of the Synovate Consumer Opinion Panel. In order to qualify for participation, panel members had to have at least $100,000 in financial assets (excluding real estate and employer retirement plans), a definition that describes approximately one-quarter of all U.S. households. Survey results include 162 interviews with households that have $100,000 to $499,999 in savings and investments, 119 interviews with those in the $500,000 to $999,999 asset range, and 247 interviews with investors who have $1 million or more. Survey results have been weighted by age and asset level to reflect national population norms. The results of the Citigroup Smith Barney Investor Poll have a maximum margin of sampling error (at the 95% confidence level) of plus or minus four percentage points.
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Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
A member SIPC, Smith Barney is a division and service mark of Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. and its affiliates and is used and registered throughout the world. Citigroup and the Umbrella Device are trademarks and service marks of Citigroup, Inc. or its affiliates and are used and registered throughout the world.
Citigroup, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.
Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc.
Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc. is a leading full service public opinion and market research firm that has been conducting customized research for our clients for over 20 years. Specializing in serving the research needs of financial services organizations, Greenwald & Associates has earned a reputation for extensive research knowledge, industry expertise, and commitment to serving the needs of our clients. For more information about Mathew Greenwald & Associates, call (202) 686-0300 or visit www.greenwaldresearch.com.
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 5,000 staff in 107 offices across 50 countries. More information on Synovate can be found at www.synovate.com or call (508) 655-0777.
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