10/26/2012 03:41 pm ET Updated Oct 29, 2012

Almost Half Of Florida's Wealthy Say They Are Better Off Now Than 2007 (STUDY)

Almost half of Florida’s richer residents say their wealth increased at least 20 percent since 2007, according to a study by PNC Bank.

“A common refrain during any Presidential election year is: Are you better off than you were four years ago?” according to a release from PNC. “For America’s affluent, there may not be a resounding yes to that question, but certainly they are feeling more optimistic than they have been in a few years.”

In PNC’s 2012 Wealth and Values Survey Investors’ Outlook survey of Floridians with $500,000 or more in investable assets, 45 percent said their assets increased at least 20 percent since 2007.

Nationally, 52 percent of affluent Americans said the same.

Also, 71 percent of the Floridans surveyed reported feeling that they had “a lot of control over their financial future." This is indicative of optimism rising to 26 percent, an increase from 9 percent last year. They also said the best opportunities were in technology, energy and utilities, and healthcare.

“While the overall survey results show a clear improvement in year-over-year sentiment, the numbers also paint a picture of cautious optimism," Thomas P. Melcher, executive vice president and managing executive of Hawthorn, PNC Wealth Management’s family office unit said in the release. "The economic crisis clearly had a lasting impact on their financial perspective and taught lessons that can be applied in the future.”

Florida's critically poor have not fared as well. Child homelessness almost doubled in the 2010-11 school year compared to 2006-07, and the state recently rejected tens of millions of federal grant money intended to help families on the edge.



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