Scandals Make Weathly Reluctant to Invest

A steady stream of financial mischief in corporate America has made some of the nation’s wealthiest citizens distrustful and wary of investing, a new poll revealed.

The survey, released Wednesday by wealth management firm United States Trust Co., polled 151 of the most affluent 1 percent of Americans who had either an adjusted annual gross income of more than $325,000 or a net worth greater than $5.9 million.

Among the findings reported:

  • 79 percent "question the reliability" of corporate financial statements and do not trust equity analysts
  • 67 percent do not trust corporate management
  • 65 percent do not trust independent auditors

"There have been a number of scandals that have affected general investor confidence," the report said. "These scandals continue to have a profound impact on the investment attitudes of the affluent."

The poll said the 2000-2003 bear market has forced 32 percent of those surveyed to delay retirement, with 25 percent saying they would have to rely more heavily on Social Security.

And though the bear market is over—69 percent said the value of their investment portfolios had risen over the past year—few are moving their money back to equities.

"The anxiety levels of this group are quite high," said Paul Napoli, executive vice president of U.S. Trust. "They are conflicted. They believe times are getting better and there will be positive returns, and yet there is nervousness about what scandal is going to pop up next."

You may like these other stories...

For the first time since 2006, more than 50 percent of CFOs believe the US economy will show signs of improvement over a six-month span rather than remain the same or worsen, according to a new study from Chicago-based...
By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer CPAs in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania believe economic conditions in the United States will likely be the same one year from now, and while they predict higher business revenues...
By Jason Bramwell Managers in accounting, finance, and IT are cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new hiring outlook survey from staffing firm Brilliant. ...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.