Affluent Americans are feeling more hopeful as they take greater control of their financial lives. Although 54% of affluent Americans are still worried about being able to meet their financial goals, 94% of them think that they are better prepared to cope with economic volatility. The stats are from the new The Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey. "The economic scenario has played out over the past several years, and more than half of affluent people believe it is what life will be like going forward," says John Thiel, head of U.S. Wealth Management and Private Banking and Investment Group for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.