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Financial Crisis Improved Advisor-Client Relationship

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Two-thirds of advisors said that, despite everything else, the financial crisis ultimately had a positive effect on their practice, according to a recent survey. In its Lessons Learned Advisor Poll, MetLife found 72 percent of advisors said the crisis made their boomer clients more risk-averse, and 70 percent said their clients are more interested in guaranteed income products as a result, but advisors across industry segments agreed they’ve had more opportunities to work closer with their clients.

Two-thirds of advisors said they spend more time “proactively contacting their clients to talk about their personal financial needs and goals,” and 55 percent say they’re spending more face time with clients. Nearly half say their boomer clients have portfolio reviews more often.

Based on an earlier consumer poll, boomers agree with advisors – for the most part. The Lessons Learned Consumer Poll, conducted last fall, found that 65 percent of boomers with $250,000 or more of investable assets said protecting assets was more important than participating in market gains; 83 percent of advisors in the new poll agreed.

The polls did find some discrepancies, though. Twenty-eight percent of affluent boomers surveyed said they were diversifying their portfolio as a reaction to the crisis, something 74 percent of advisors recommend their clients do. Fifty-eight percent of advisors recommend their clients allocate a portion of their assets to guaranteed income products, but only 14 percent of boomers said they were.

Of the biggest challenges facing boomer clients, nearly two-thirds of advisors agree being able to retire when they want to is the first. Fifty-seven percent say losing value in retirement accounts is a challenge, and just under one-third say job security will be their clients’ biggest challenge.

Almost half of advisors say recovery is no more than four years away. Thirty-five percent say it will take at least five years to reach full economic recovery.


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