SEI Quick Poll: Upcoming Elections Breed ‘Fear and Uncertainty’ Among Investors

However, majority of advisors 'cautiously optimistic' heading into 2011

Nearly half of financial advisors believe the upcoming elections have created “fear and uncertainty” among their clients, according to an SEI Quick Poll released Friday.

With four days to go until elections, the top issues weighing on their minds, according to advisors, are continued unemployment, the potential for a double-dip recession, pending tax changes and budget deficits.

“When there’s fear and uncertainty among investors – whether caused by an election or otherwise – we tell advisors to do one thing and do it well: Communicate with clients,” said Steve Onofrio, managing director of SEI Advisor Network, in a statement. “Investors have many worries today and an advisor’s role is to proactively communicate to clients and provide the necessary advice to ensure that they are on track towards meeting their goals in any environment. SEI has developed automated tools to help make this process easier and more efficient for advisors.”

Meanwhile, a majority of advisors remain “cautiously optimistic on the economy” heading into 2011. The survey found that the biggest barrier to their success in 2010 was “attracting new clients due to the unsettled markets.” Among advisors, two key concerns remain−tax cuts and new compliance regulations. More than two-thirds of advisors believe that a compromise will be reached and some of the Bush-era tax cuts will remain in place.

According to the survey results, 65% of advisors are currently on pace to reach their revenue goal for 2010. This statistic points to an ongoing need among the advisory community to attract new clients. SEI has developed several prospecting tools to help advisors target these individuals and create personalized marketing materials.

Among the advisors who participated in the survey, 33% manage between $50 million and $250 million in assets under management. Additionally, nearly half of the advisors manage between 50 to 150 clients and nearly two-thirds (63%) of the advisors have more than 15 years of experience as a financial advisor.

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