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While the financial news is full of reports of rebounds in retail and consumer spending, it is the affluent consumer who is increasing his or her spending.
The study, conducted for the IAB by Ipsos Mendelsohn, which has been surveying the affluent market since 1977, found that 98 percent of affluent consumers use the Internet, as compared with 79 percent of the general population.
Other marketers hoping to catch the affluents who are "trading down" must raise the bar in their online efforts--not merely by advertising, but by explaining how their products or services fit in with the "new" affluent lifestyle.
Affluents' discomfort with the "luxury" label on products may stem from a deeply-rooted modesty formed during their upbringing: Most affluents today came from less affluent economic backgrounds than they currently enjoy and tend to identify themselves as "middle class.
Among the report's findings: * Japanese affluents spend more time on household chores than do those in other countries (14 hours per week compared with a low of 6 hours in Hong Kong).
Though most Mass Affluents are paying off their credit card bills each month, Mintel found that many feel deeply affected by the faltering economy.
Roper's Zhao notes that countries where affluents rank price higher than quality have well developed economies, where "shoppers are used to a great deal of choice or where bargaining is common in the marketplace.
For each country, it provides the number of mass affluent and/or high net worth individuals and the aggregate onshore liquid wealth they hold across liquid asset bands.
UK Mass affluents lost PS20 billion in onshore liquid assets in 2007
When asked to name the best speculative investment vehicles, the affluents surveyed named venture capital (52%) and developed real estate (51%).
The survey, which polls a representative sampling of the top 1% wealthiest people in the country -- two-thirds with estates between $1 million and $10 million -- found that the vast majority of affluents already have a will (84%), as well as a formal estate plan (70%), and have discussed the plan with their spouse (89%).
In 2000 there were 124,500 mass affluent individuals in Mexico and 29,700 high net worths and by the end of 2004 there were 184,300 mass affluents and 49,300 high net worths holding EUR72bn in onshore liquid assets between them.