Advisers Predict a Red Senate, Strong Growth

Two-thirds of independent financial advisers believe Republicans will gain control of the U.S. Senate in November, according to a new Financial Services Institute (FSI) poll.

Poll results show 66% of independent financial advisers think the Senate will go red (i.e., Republican) after the November elections. A smaller group of advisers, about 43%, predicts equities will have a strong show during the rest of 2014, according to FSI.

The poll shows opposition to the Department of Labor’s pending fiduciary redefinition proposal, now set for release in early 2015, continues to hold strong at 90% (see “Hidden Opportunity in New Fiduciary Rule?”). The results also show that 41% of financial advisers responded that they have a succession plan finalized and in place to pass along their practice once they retire. And only 15% of independent advisers said they plan to retire or sell their practice in the next five years.

“Independent financial advisers have their finger on the pulse of politics and policy as Washington and state capitals play an ever-increasing role in their business,” explains Dale Brown, FSI president and CEO. “Financial adviser opposition to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary definition proposal has held strong over the past year. We see no sign of complacency creeping in as the rule is postponed yet again.”

Other results from the survey show the following:

  • Advisers are general optimistic or neutral on their outlook for equity returns for the rest of 2014, with 43% predicting strong performance, 49% anticipating neutral performance, and 8% forecasting a weaker growth.
  • When asked if they plan to buy or acquire another practice or book of business in the next five years, a strong majority of independent advisers (71%) said no.
  • Even more advisers (76%) said they have no plans to buy or acquire another practice or book of business over the next six to 10 years.
  • More advisers plan to retire in the next six to 10 years (29%) compared with those planning to retire in the next five years.

The poll, “Financial Advisors Weigh in on Midterm Elections, Industry Issues,” was conducted in-house by FSI. About 2,300 of FSI’s affiliated financial advisers completed the poll between June 9 and June 13.