Independent Advisers Want to Make Business Changes

More than half of independent advisers said their clients have modified their expectations of retirement lifestyle or plan to delay retirement, according to a survey by Curian Capital, LLC.

Clients aren’t the only ones who adjusted their strategies amid the financial turmoil of the last year. The survey also found that many advisers changed some of their methods in the past year, including the way they interact with clients and construct portfolios. More than three-fourths (78%) of advisers said they have changed the way they interact with clients, and 88% said investor emotions affected their ability to effectively manage client portfolios. Furthermore, more than half of the advisers said they have adopted a more tactical approach to portfolio construction, according to a release of the results from Curian, a provider of a fee-based managed account platform for financial professionals.

“Most advisers responding to our survey indicate that their clients’ goals and priorities have changed dramatically since the downturn. As a result, advisers have had to make a fundamental shift in their approach to portfolio construction, client interaction, and practice management,” said Chris Rosato, senior vice president of strategic development for Curian, in the release. “The advisers who recognize the need for change and seek out new solutions for meeting their clients’ needs will be the most successful in the coming year.”

Going into 2010, 68% of surveyed independent advisers defined their 2010 business mindset as one of acceleration and growth. However, a smaller percentage (56%) actually has a strategic plan in place to grow their business. A third of the advisers know that their business model needs to change—but aren’t sure how to change it.

One thing is clear: Few advisers plan to stagnate. Only 10% of respondents feel their business strategy is sound and does not need to change.

The Curian survey, “2010 Outlook for Advisor Priorities,” surveyed more than 1,800 independent financial advisers in November.