Confidence among millionaires and affluent investors rose in September, according to Spectrem Group.

The Chicago research company said its Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence index rose 5 points in September, to negative-5, posting its third consecutive monthly gain. The advance, after a 6-point increase in August, kept the index in neutral territory for a second consecutive month.

The Spectrem Affluent Investor Confidence index rose 5 points in September, to negative-13. Despite this third straight advance, the affluent index remained in "mildly bearish" territory.

"These advances suggest a slow but steady improvement in the confidence of America's wealthiest investors," George H. Walper Jr., Spectrem's president, said in a press release Wednesday.

In response to an open-ended question about the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals, affluent investors in September cited: the economy (24%); the political climate (16%); unemployment (12%); market conditions (10%); inflation (5%); and health-related issues (4%). Those citing the economy rose from 22% in June, the last time this question was asked, while those citing the political climate fell from 22%.

Millionaires were slightly less worried about the economy (22%) than the affluent but expressed equal concern about the political climate (16%).

The affluent index is based on 250 monthly interviews with the financial decision makers in households with $500,000 or more of investable assets. The millionaire index is based on a subset of the overall survey group.

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