Affluent Attitudes: Changes in the 1990s MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. III, No. 6 December 1997

A significant shift in attitudes toward risk, return, and investing occurred among the Affluents between 1994 and 1996, a bottom-line effect of the great Bull Market of the 1990s. Affluents have increased their propensity to take on risk. They have also become more financially sophisticated. Although the recent sudden market correction may give some of these Affluents pause and perhaps cause them to swing back to safer havens, the fact that most individual investors held tight and remained basically unphased by October's market plunge may indicate that these attitudinal shifts are irreversible.

Afluent Attitudes

Changes in financial attitudes serve as a signal to financial providers that what worked before may no longer be relevant or applicable in catering to the Affluent market. This MacroMonitor report outlines the statistically significant attitudinal changes—the largest in 20 years of MacroMonitor attitudinal monitoring—not just among the total Affluents but, more important, within the Affluent MacroMonitor segments. Some attitudes that show significant change for total Affluents proved minimal for some segments. Conversely, attitudes that saw minimal or no change for Affluents overall show marked differences within the segments. The variance of these attitudes between and within the Affluent segments indicates that Affluents interpret and react differently to market conditions. To ensure the strongest impact in marketing and sales efforts, financial providers need to respond to these changing attitudinal directions with the targeted Affluent segment's goals, financial position, and decision styles in mind.