Nearly three-quarters of investors (71.8 percent) are concerned about recent stock market volatility, according to a new survey conducted by Millionaire Corner. This concern is most keenly felt by those with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million (78.7 percent). Women, who tend to be more cautious investors, were slightly more likely to be concerned about market volatility than men (72.9 percent vs. 70.7 percent).
Between the debt ceiling debate and subsequent unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and euro zone instability that has seen the resignation of Italy and Greece’s prime ministers, the market has fluctuated wildly over the course of the last three months.
The chaotic stock market and risk management are the top concerns of investors, according to a new Invesco survey of 206 independent registered advisors (RIAs) with an average of $488 million in investible assets.
Nearly all (99 percent) cited market volatility as among their clients’ top three concerns compared with only six percent of RIAs who said wealth accumulation was a key concern.
Given their clients' current mindset, 45 percent of RIAs say that risk management is now their top priority in terms of portfolio construction, the Invesco survey found. This is reflected in our survey, which found that 37.5 percent, of investors, on the advice of their financial advisor, have opted for safer investment choices, such as income-producing dividends. Again, those with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million were most likely to embrace this option.
Investors were less likely to abandon a “buy and hold” strategy for making more short-term investments. Just under a quarter (24.6 percent) said they were taking this route vs. just under half (47.3 percent) who said they were not.
Other client concerns, according to RIAs, are wealth preservation (24 percent), exceeding a performance benchmark (12 percent) and delivering absolute return (10 percent).
In addition to devising a strategy to mitigate risk, RIAs must also manage their clients’ expectation and understanding of risk. Communicating with clients is an area in which RIAs feel a need for improvement. Just over half (55 percent) said they were confident in their ability to explain complex investment principles to their clients, while 83 percent are using their firm’s internal tools to frame and shape these discussions.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.