Compared to previous years, financial advisers have a more positive outlook about the economy.
According to a survey of more than 2,000 advisers conducted by asset management company Curian Capital LLC, nearly 54% of respondents said they believe the economy will get better over the next year. Only one-fifth of respondents expected the economic crisis will be long term.
Unemployment topped the list of the economic issues that advisers believe are the biggest threats to their clients’ wealth management plans at 23%, followed by government spending at 20%.
Thirty percent of the survey’s respondents reported their clients also feeling unemployment was the highest perceived threat to their retirement accounts, followed by market volatility at 14%.
“In the course of only one year, we’ve seen a remarkable jump in the number of advisers reporting they believe the economy will get better in the coming year,” said Chris Rosato, senior vice president of strategic development for Curian. “This is a huge increase over last year when only one-third of advisors felt optimistic about the global economy.”
Nearly 95% of advisers said they were moderately or very concerned about rising interest rates and the effect this may have on the value of their clients’ fixed-income investments.
Tax efficiency has also become a major concern with more than 87% of respondents reporting that it along with after-tax performance were important aspects of the solutions they proposed to clients, the survey showed.
Advisers ranked separately managed accounts as the product they plan to increase their usage of the most this year, while alternative investments continue to be popular strategies in client portfolios.
When it comes to how advisers are managing their practice, 56% said they do not use social media. In addition, only 6% of respondents ranked social media as one of their top three sources of new leads.
Apple iPads were the preferred mobile tablet device of more than 50% of advisers, while one-third said they don’t use a tablet device in their practices.
When asked what type of mobile device advisors would like to see from an asset management firm, the response was split, with 49% saying they preferred apps that mimic a firm’s primary website and 46% preferred calculators or tools for business purposes.