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October 03, 2013 09:46 ET

BMO Private Bank: More than Half of Florida's Affluent Feel They Are More Secure Financially than Before the Recession

- Almost 60 percent of high-net worth Floridians are bullish on the U.S. economy

- They are more likely to be optimistic about the tech and energy sectors than other affluent Americans

- They are spending more on entertainment, travel and club memberships than before September 2008

SARASOTA, FLORIDA--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2013) - Affluent Floridians feel they are more financially secure today than they were before the 2008 economic downturn, according to a study released today by BMO Private Bank. 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 Florida and across the country.

The study revealed that more than half (54 percent) of affluent individuals in the Sunshine State say they are better off now than before the recession. Further, 59 percent are optimistic about what the future holds for the U.S. economy.

Other key highlights of the study include:

  • Florida's affluent are most confident about the technology (88 percent) and energy (88 percent) sectors - well above the national averages (80 and 77 percent respectively). They are least optimistic about manufacturing (49 percent) and agriculture (39 percent).
  • They believe stocks (76 percent) and real estate (66 percent) will yield good returns over the next five years, and they are among the most likely in the country to choose bonds (44 percent) as a top investment option.
  • They are spending more or the same on club memberships (78 percent), entertainment and leisure (76 percent), and travel and vacations (74 percent) than they did before September 2008.

"It's encouraging to know that high-net worth residents of Sarasota County are feeling good about the economy and their financial position within it," said Garrett Heard, IV, CTFA, CFP, Managing Director and Wealth Advisor for BMO Private Bank in Sarasota. "We are seeing renewed spending and homebuyer optimism in this part of the state. This, in turn, will continue to invigorate the economy in our region, as well as nationally." Heard concluded, "While the economy is gaining momentum, it is important to note that there are a great number of Americans who are continuing to recover from the Great Recession of 2008. As long as that is an on-going issue, it will continue to dampen growth."

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 41 Florida residents). The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® in the U.S.

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