Charles Schwab Corp. released on March 4 its 5th semi-annual survey of its affiliated RIAs, and the results show some optimism on the part of advisors, though there are no Pollyannas in the group of 1,240 advisors, with more than $300 billion in AUM, who completed the survey in the last week of January 2009.
Bernie Clark, senior vice president for Schwab’s RIA custody unit, Charles Schwab Advisor Services, said the survey is “showing the caution and care that independent advisors tend to put into building portfolios for clients, and that’s good.”
While only 3% of the respondents expect the recession to end by June 2009, 41% expect it to end by December 2009, while another 41% expect it to end by December 2010. The concerns of advisors are quite different from January 2008, as are there expectations of what is likely to occur over the following six months. In 2009, 92% of respondents expected unemployment to increase, compared to 79% in January 2009, while only 30% of those surveyed in January 2009 expect inflation to increase; 79% expected that to happen in January 2008.
There is some difference of opinion among the RIAs on how long it will take to get their clients’ portfolios back up to the levels they stood as of September 1, 2008: 55% say it will take as long as three years, but an additional 35% expect it to take up to 5 years to recover.