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Practice Management > Building Your Business

What Stresses Out Advisors Most?

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Managing other people’s money is a stressful job. But just how much agita the ups and downs of the markets cause is often a matter of conjecture. A quarterly survey offers a window into just how advisors feel. 

In results released this month, Adhesion Wealth Advisor Solutions found that more than two in three advisors rated their stress at seven or greater on a 10-point scale. While that sounds bad, it is a marked improvement from the June survey, the first conducted by Adhesion. And it should be noted that almost all advisors, 90%, said they enjoyed their work, with nearly half rating their enjoyment a 9 or a 10.

“Joy is up, stress is down,” Jack Martin, chief marketing officer of Adhesion, which administered the survey, said in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “Advisors are so invested in their clients’ futures that when the markets improve it is reflected in the joy and stress numbers.”

For the survey, which drew 73 responses (up from 19 in the first one), Adhesion pays $10. While the number is small, Martin points to the quality of the respondents, who have an average $240 million in assets under management and 19 years in the business. He also noted the range of types of advisors, with 20% being corporate or affiliated RIAs and a like amount being hybrid RIAs with BD affiliation, along with breakaway independents and institutional consultants among the others represented.

As for what causes the most stress, it’s no great shock that 57% said named the financial markets. The biggest stressor, though, was shouldering the responsibility for clients’ financial futures, which 83% of advisors said caused them a high level of stress. Other big culprits were regulatory requirements (69%) and sourcing new business and marketing (59%).

Martin said it was interesting to see what didn’t cause stress. Only 31% of respondents named succession planning as a stressor, 21% cited competition/robo-advisors, and 18 were stressed out by asset allocation and rebalancing.

What can advisors do to relieve stress? Martin said many are carving out personal time to clear their minds.

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