There are so many surveys out there purporting to tell the world how rich people think that it can be hard to tell which poll is which without a scorecard.
For example, Bank of America's Merrill Edge program -- essentially a high-end but no-frills version of a full-fledged private banking relationship -- made our radar two months ago with headlines about how the entry-level affluent investor suffered in the recession.
After several years of relentless spin -- either cheerleading or panic -- from the media, it seems likely that only the advisors now know how exactly the affluent feel about the market. Self-directed upper-middle-class families may truly be terrified by the prospect of a double-dip recession, or may only be following the self-fulfilling lead of the financial media.
Either way, it's an opportunity for advisors to either diagnose and dispel fear, on the one hand, or clap their clients on the back for being brave enough -- with the right advice, naturally -- to stay the course.