Americans with assets of more than $250,000 said they’re more financially secure today than a year ago, after a recovery in the stock market increased confidence that the worst effects of the recession are over, according to Bank of America.

The Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly, which surveyed 1,000 people with investable assets of at least $250,000 from Sept. 13 to Oct. 7, found that 41 percent said they’re better off this year compared with the same period last year. About 39 percent of Americans said they’re risk-averse about investing, down from 50 percent in the previous survey.

“The headline is people are feeling better,” said Sallie Krawcheck, president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management unit.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained about 23 percent in 2009 and 6 percent this year, compared with a 38 percent drop in 2008.

“There’s a very clear split in terms of how affluent Americans see their own personal financial fortunes and the larger U.S. economy,” said Andy Sieg, head of retirement and philanthropic services for Bank of America. “They view their personal financial picture as being far rosier.”