Declining Real Estate, Retirement Income Top Concerns for Investors: Study

Market conditions challenging advisors to find income, manage volatility. Confident in long-term growth

It’s a tough job but advisors are rising to the occasion. That’s the takeaway from a recent study from Natixis Global Asset Management on volatility, income and ensuring assets last.

Although most financial advisors (81%) say it’s challenging to effectively manage volatility and generate sufficient income for clients already in retirement, nearly all advisors (95%) are confident that their current investment strategies will help clients better meet retirement income needs, according to the study.

“The current low-interest-rate, high-volatility environment makes it difficult for investors to achieve their retirement goals,” John Hailer, president and CEO of the Boston and Paris-based firm, said in a statement. “It’s encouraging that so many advisors believe they have the tools and strategies to help clients navigate these challenges, but most advisors know there’s still a long way to go, in terms of building more durable portfolios.”

Most financial advisors (81%) say clients continue to be concerned about the long-term durability of their assets, including meeting their retirement income goals and continuing declines in value of the real estate they own (59%).

“Americans are no longer in denial about real estate values, and they recognize how this impacts their financial well-being, particularly in retirement,” Hailer said. “When real estate values decline, as they have during the past several years, this has a dramatic impact on financing retirement, and Americans realize that.”

Four in five advisors also reported that it will be difficult to effectively manage volatility risk for those in retirement; with four in ten advisors (41%) saying it was “extremely difficult.”

But advisors are confident over the long term.

“Advisors recognize they have the tools to build portfolios that can weather market volatility,” Hailer added. “The challenge lies in educating clients about the need to make smarter use of traditional asset classes and embrace alternative investments, commodities, hedged equities and other investments that can reduce risk in a portfolio.”

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