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October 03, 2013 09:46 ET

BMO Private Bank: Half of Wisconsin's Affluent Say They Are Better Off Today Than Before the 2008 Recession

- More than half of high-net worth individuals in Wisconsin expect the U.S. economy to flourish over the next year

- They are especially upbeat about the technology, manufacturing and health sectors

- They are spending more than or the same as they did before the recession on entertainment, travel and clothing

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2013) - A study released today by BMO Private Bank has revealed that half (50 percent) of Wisconsin's affluent feel they are more financially secure than they were before the 2008 recession. The study is the second in a series by BMO Private Bank examining trends among high-net worth individuals (those with investible assets of $1 million or more) in Wisconsin and across the country.

The study also revealed that 55 percent expect the U.S. economy to improve over the next year, though only 35 percent are optimistic about what the future holds for the Asian markets (well below the national average of 53 percent).

"It's been a tough five years, both here in Wisconsin and throughout the country, but confidence levels are improving," said Jason Stamm, Regional President, Northern States, BMO Private Bank. "A sound investment plan is critical to helping build that confidence, and more than 80 percent of Wisconsin's high-net worth individuals are feeling good about their investment plans."

Other key highlights of the study include:

  • The Badger State's affluent are more upbeat about the manufacturing sector compared to other high-net worth Americans (63 percent vs. 50 percent national average). They are also bullish on technology (80 percent) and health (75 percent).
  • Although they believe that real estate (68 percent) and stocks (65 percent) will yield positive returns over the next five years, they are among the least confident high-net worth Americans regarding stocks compared to the national average (75 percent).
  • They are spending more than or the same as they did before the recession on entertainment and leisure (90 percent), travel and vacations (83 percent), and clothing (83 percent).

Key National Findings:

On a national level, the study found:

  • Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of high-net worth Americans say they are better off today than they were before the recession.
  • Sixty percent of the nation's affluent are optimistic about what the future holds for the U.S. economy.
  • They are most bullish about the technology (80 percent), health (78 percent) and energy (77 percent) sectors and least optimistic about the prospects for the manufacturing (50 percent), agricultural (46 percent) and mining (43 percent) sectors.
  • They are spending more money or the same amount as before September 2008 in a number of areas, including:
    • Entertainment and leisure activities (86 percent)
    • Travel and vacations (83 percent)
    • Club memberships (81 percent)
    • Collections and hobbies (80 percent)
    • Clothing and accessories (77 percent)

About BMO Private Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group

BMO Private Bank offers a comprehensive range of wealth management services that include investment advisory, trust, banking and financial planning to meet the financial needs of high net worth clients. Through integrated teams of experienced financial professionals, BMO Private Bank helps its clients realize their financial and lifestyle goals with solutions that are custom tailored and delivered with the highest level of personalized service.

BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.

The online survey was conducted by Pollara between March 28th and April 11th, 2013 with a sample of 482 American adults who have $1M+ in investable assets (including a sub-sample of 40 Wisconsin residents). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

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