Wealthy Americans Identify Top National Priorities in Northern Trust Survey

  Wealthy Americans Identify Top National Priorities in Northern Trust Survey

        Study Also Finds Planning for Tax Changes Related to Net Worth

Business Wire

CHICAGO -- December 26, 2012

Wealthy Americans say the President’s top priorities ought to be growing the
economy and reducing the unemployment rate over the next 12 to 18 months,
followed by reducing the deficit and ending political gridlock, according to
the first in a series of insights from Northern Trust’s Wealth in America
survey. The survey, which explores opinions of wealthy Americans, also found
that high net worth individuals are most likely to have planned for tax
changes at year end.

The survey identified the three most important priorities for President Barack
Obama over the next 12-18 months as:

1. Economic growth and reducing the unemployment rate (44 percent)

2. Reducing the federal deficit (19 percent)

3. Ending political gridlock (15 percent)

When asked why respondents chose these as top priorities, responses included:

  *“The more people there are working, spending, and paying their fair share
    of taxes, the better it is for the whole country.”
  *“The deficit will create inflation, threaten the economy and create
    political instability.”
  *“Nothing will get resolved unless they (The President and Congress) can
    work together.”

The survey grouped participants as high net worth, affluent and mass affluent.
High net worth refers to a person with $5 million or more in investable
assets. Affluent refers to a person with $1 million to $4.99 million in
investable assets. Mass affluent refers to a person with $250,000 to $999,999
in investable assets.

The Northern Trust Wealth in America survey found that the likelihood of
planning for tax changes is a function of wealth. “Results show that high net
worth Americans are taking active steps to adapt to a changing tax
environment.” Northern Trust Tax Strategist Suzanne Shier said. “This reflects
what we have seen over the past year as we have helped many clients
restructure estate plans, tax liabilities and investment approaches to make
the most of opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Specifically, the survey found:

  *High net worth individuals are more likely to undertake a wider range of
    activities to deal with changes in tax rates, including investing in
    tax-free bonds, revising estate plans, harvesting capital gains in 2012
    while rates remain low, and gifting in 2012 to maximize estate and gift
    tax rates.
  *Mass affluent households are more than twice as likely than high net worth
    households to do nothing to prepare for impending changes in tax laws (31
    percent vs. 13 percent)
  *Of respondents who did not have a tax plan in place for 2012, the number
    one reason cited was because of uncertainties around the fiscal cliff (28

Northern Trust’s nationwide survey of wealthy individuals seeks to highlight
important wealth management issues. The online interviews were conducted by
Phoenix Marketing International and NIA Enterprises between November 16 and
December 17, 2012. The data contained in this report came from 1,700 online
interviews and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points at a 95
percent level of confidence.

Northern Trust is a premier wealth management firm that specializes in
goals-based financial advice. We offer clients insightful perspectives and
creative thinking, backed by innovative technology and a strong fiduciary
ethos. Northern Trust is ranked among the top 10 U.S. wealth managers with
$184.1 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2012, and more
than 70 wealth management offices in the United States and abroad. The
Financial Times Group has named Northern Trust Best Private Bank in the USA
for four consecutive years. In 2012 Northern Trust was also was named Best
Private Bank globally for Innovation and Best Private Bank for Socially
Responsible Investing.

About Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of investment
management, asset and fund administration, banking solutions and fiduciary
services for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide.
Northern Trust, a financial holding company based in Chicago, has offices in
18 U.S. states and 16 international locations in North America, Europe, the
Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of September 30, 2012, Northern
Trust had assets under custody of US$4.8 trillion, and assets under investment
management of US$749.7 billion. For more than 120 years, Northern Trust has
earned distinction as an industry leader in combining exceptional service and
expertise with innovative products and technology. For more information, visit
www.northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

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