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Portfolio > ETFs > Broad Market

Advisors See Recession Fears Rising Among Their Clients

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One-third of RIAs in a new survey conducted at the beginning of the third quarter said fear of recession was clients’ number one concern, up seven percentage points from the previous quarter, E-Trade Advisor Services reported Friday.

Market volatility dropped to second place among client concerns, cited by 24% of RIAs in E-Trade’s Independent Advisor Sentiment poll, down from 47% in the second quarter.

China and U.S. trade tensions followed, cited by 22% of respondents, up from 11%.

Forty-three percent of advisors said trying to time the market was biggest mistake they saw their clients making, the same as the second-quarter finding.

Twenty-two percent said their clients were not saving enough for retirement, down from 27%. And 14% noted that clients were putting their dependents’ financial needs ahead of their own, up three points.

As in the second quarter, RIAs in the survey said market volatility was the top risk they were actively managing at present, though fewer clients appeared to be concerned about it — cited by 68% of advisors, down from 75% in the second quarter.

Interest rates were the next biggest risk at 56%, up from 53%, followed by a flattening/inverted yield curve at 43%, up from 39%. Four in 10 advisors cited recession, the same as last quarter.

“Advisors are focusing on the fundamentals of our economy, which are on relatively solid footing despite how late we are in the bull market run,” Matthew Wilson, head of E-Trade Advisor Services, said in a statement.

“Amid the recent market volatility, advisors can really demonstrate their value to clients — shoring up defenses in client portfolios, helping them understand the bigger picture and encouraging them to stay focused on their long-term goals.”

Th survey was conducted in-house from July 16 to July 29 among 305 independent RIAs.

Here is how advisors ranked sectors in terms of the opportunity for their clients over the next few months:

  • Information technology – Q3: 53%; Q2: 51%
  • Health care – Q3: 43%; Q2: 34%
  • Financials – Q3: 34%; Q2: 34%
  • Consumer discretionary – Q3: 26%; Q2: 11%
  • Consumer staples – Q3: 22%; Q2: 23%
  • Energy – Q3: 21%; Q2: 26%
  • Communication services – Q3: 12%; Q2: 8%
  • Utilities – Q3: 10%; Q2: 8%
  • Industrials – Q3: 9%; Q2: 12%
  • Materials – Q3: 6%; Q2: 5%

— Check out Have We Hit a Soft Patch, or Are We Marching to Recession? on ThinkAdvisor.


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