Advisors Grow Pessimistic, as Consumer Confidence Hits 4-Year High

RIAs are not as upbeat as most consumers when it comes to the economy and markets, according to the latest polls

ACI vs CCIConsumers said they continue to feel more confident about the economy in November, while advisors are much more pessimistic, according to separate surveys released this week.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that the Consumer Confidence Index, which had moved up in October, posted a moderate rise in November. The index stands at 73.7, up from 73.1 in October.

“The Consumer Confidence Index increased in November and is now at its highest level in more than four and a half years (76.4 in February 2008),” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, in a press release.

“Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence,” Franco explained.

Meanwhile, the Advisor Confidence Index fell close to 12% over the past month. It stands at 84.52 (rounded to 85 in the above chart).  The monthly poll reflects the views of 150 independent registered investment advisors; it is conducted by Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking, an affiliate of Guggenheim Investments.

"The global economy is contracting, earnings are beginning to fall, and the business cycle has not been revoked," said James Daley of TEAM Financial Managers, in a statement. "Systemic shocks are not unusual during recessions, so a crisis surrounding Greece, the fiscal cliff, or some other issue could just make a bad situation worse."

All four components of the Advisor Confidence Index dropped from October: The current economic outlook was down 6.82%, while the six-month economic outlook decreased 13.71%, the 12-month economic outlook fell 9.30%, and the stock-market outlook declined 16.63%.

"There are more reasons to raise cash than there are to lower cash levels until we understand what the rules of the game are for taxes," said Kenny Landgraf, of Kenjol Capital Management, in a statement.

Some consumers, though, are far more optimistic. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months grew to 22.2% from 21.5% in October. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead ticked up to 20.3% from 19.7%.

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