Here's a good rule of thumb: when it comes to financial advice, pay more attention to what people who have a track record of knowing what they're doing -- i.e. rich people -- are thinking than what people you run into on public transportation are saying.

The Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, released on Tuesday by the American Express Publishing Corp. and Harrison Group. shows that wealthy Americans are very bullish on real estate. 77% of those who had a discretionary household income of more than $500,000 said that real estate presents a "real opportunity" now.

If you've been waiting on the sidelines and saving responsibly, this may well be a good time to start looking. And try not to let tabloid-worthy headlines scare you off. In 1979, BusinessWeek proclaimed the "death of equities" -- near the bottom of a bear market and right before the beginning of the longest bull run in history.

For a more detailed breakdown of the survey, check out this piece from MarketWatch.

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