Financial advisors are succumbing to the prevailing pessimism over the U.S. and global economies.
The market turmoil that eroded consumer and investor confidence in August also dampened the outlook of the nation’s financial advisors.
The downward spiral is fed by skepticism about the U.S. economy in the short term and the longer-term outlook for the global economy, according to the latest monthly Advisor Confidence Index from Rydex SGI.
“The debt ceiling and debt downgrade circuses in Washington are a sideshow relative to the global economic slowdown unfolding,” James Daily, of TEAM Financial Managers said in a press statement released by Rydex.
Advisor confidence fell nearly 6 points from July to August bringing the index to a year low. Fear of a double dip recession depressed the “current economic outlook” component of the index by 12 points. The six-month outlook fell nearly 8 points, while the 12-month outlook dropped more than 6.
The index is based on surveys to 150 registered investment advisors and is designed to serve as a benchmark gauging advisors’ views on the economy.
“Even though U.S. corporations are showing strong earnings, we see the U.S. government struggling as it deals with numerous problems,” Jim Elder, of ElderAdo Financial, said in the Rydex release. “We are in another recession, but this time it’s a government recession, not a corporate recession.”
Recent economic events have prompted 60 percent of the advisors surveyed to change their investment mix. An equal share - 16 percent - shifted to more equities and to more bonds. The largest share - 24 percent - invested more in cash.
Affluent investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner after the most recent selloff appear to be a little more resilient than their advisors. The investors say the events of 2008 has made them better prepared for the most recent downturn. Nearly 13 percent moved investments into less risky products, such as savings accounts, but a greater share - more than 23 percent - took advantage of the downturn by purchasing additional equities.
About 11 percent called their advisors to discuss options and 12 percent received calls from financial professionals offering reassurance and attempting to answer questions. A greater share - more than 19 percent - worked independently of their advisors to research what steps to take. Nearly 55 percent of the 1250 investors surveyed by Millionaire Corner in August say their experiences in the market crisis of 2008 helped them cope with the current downturn and that the weren’t “upset with the drop in stock prices.”