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13 Ways to Handle Clients' Biggest Investing Worries

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Impending market volatility, followed by inflation, are among advisors’ greatest concerns for their clients in 2022, according to the findings of a new Frontier Asset Management survey.

Of the 254 U.S. advisors surveyed online last month by the independent asset manager, 201 cited impending market volatility as their greatest concerns, while 154 cited inflation. Other top concerns included unrealistic expectations, investor shortsightedness/chasing performance, taxes, risk avoidance and retirement income shortfall.

The biggest surprise from the results of this year’s survey was on “the risk side of things,” Robert Miller, Frontier CEO, told ThinkAdvisor in an interview on Monday.

“Seventy-nine percent of the advisors said that what their clients were looking for was to manage risk and get the most return for that set area of risk,” he said, calling that a “big number.” A much smaller percentage of advisors wanted market returns with as low cost as possible, he said.

A second surprise in the findings was in proprietary products, he told ThinkAdvisor, noting 93% of advisors polled said they preferred an asset manager without proprietary funds. “What was really interesting about that is I don’t think that that’s the way fund flows are matching,” he said.

A lot of asset management firms with proprietary funds and “build those into strategies that they then sell to advisors,” he pointed out. Frontier, however, doesn’t have any proprietary products, he said. “We use other managers so we use kind of the best product from everybody, as we would say, so [there are] lots of different fund families represented in our portfolios.”

Miller wasn’t sure if advisors said they preferred asset managers without proprietary products based on pressure from clients, he said.

In the gallery above are 13 suggestions for advisors to help their clients weather 2022’s many challenges, based on the company’s survey and Miller’s comments.