Market Conditions Lead Some Advisers to More Equities

Despite the volatility and uncertainty in the markets, 29% of financial intermediaries are investing more in equity funds while only 24% are investing less, according to research from kasina.

A survey by the asset management consultant found that more advisers are increasing investments in bond, equity, and money market funds than are decreasing investments in such products. Variable annuities and “alternative’ investments tell a different story, with 22% of advisers investing less in variable annuities and 16% investing more; 31% of advisers are investing less in alternative products, such as hedge funds, while only 14% are investing more.

kasina said this is a good sign. “It is positive to see that advisers are not fully retreating from the markets,’ said Steven Miyao, CEO at kasina, in a press release. “Even in the jittery money market fund space, 37% of intermediaries are investing more.’

The research also found that 22% of intermediaries are investing more in international markets, while 27% are investing less. Thirty-three percent of intermediaries are investing less in passively managed products, while only 12% are investing less in actively managed products, according to the release.

Web-Based Information

kasina’s research suggests advisers want quick Web-based information, rather than phone calls from their asset managers. kasina said about half of advisers (47%) are visiting an asset management company’s Web site to receive information on the current market—which is more than the percentage who have called the asset management company’s wholesaler (37%).

“As intermediaries focus on keeping their clients calm, they don’t have a lot of time to interact with asset management firms,’ said Lee Kowarski, principal at kasina. “In this busy time, advisers are increasingly looking for e-mail and Web-based support and want a wholesaler available if they have a specific question.’

kasina said American Funds, Fidelity Investments, and RiverSource were named the most often as providing valuable commentary, conference calls, and other support materials relating to the current market conditions. Other firms named more than twice were AIG SunAmerica, The Davis Funds, First Trust, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, Ivy Funds, OppenheimerFunds, and PIMCO.

Earlier this week, kasina unveiled its top 10 sites for financial intermediaries (see kasina Releases Top Web Sites for Advisers).

kasina surveyed 174 financial intermediaries September 24 and 25.