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Among investors, short-term pessimism, long-term optimism

October 17, 2011 | 10:11 am

Wealthy Californians are more worried about economic issues close to home than they are about the national economic situation, according to a new survey of California investors.

The top two economic concerns for the investors polled were California's state deficit and the state's high unemployment rate, ahead of concerns about the national debt and worries about market volatility.

The survey, conducted by UBS Wealth Management in early October and released today, found that most investors see California's situation as being worse than that of the rest of the nation. But though a majority of those polled are pessimistic about the short-term situation, a majority are optimistic about the long-term situation, as is true among investors nationwide.

In both California and the nation, short-term pessimism has skyrocketed since earlier this year -- with the percentage of very pessimistic investors going from 28% in the spring to 63% now.

To get the economy running, a large majority of California investors want to see the tax code reformed -- but a smaller majority is also in favor of ending tax cuts on the rich and introducing a tax on millionaires like that proposed recently by Warren Buffett.

The poll found predictable differences between investors in Southern California and Northern California. While more in the South see immigration as being a threat to the economy, more in the North are interested in raising taxes.


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-- Nathaniel Popper