Volatility Still a Top Concern for Investors

Despite an extended period of relatively calm markets, advisers say the top investor-initiated conversation remains on the topic of market volatility, according to a survey from Russell Investments.

This development runs counter to current market volatility measures, Russell says, which are hovering near a seven-year low but have recently starting pushing upward based on global political uncertainty and other macroeconomic factors (see “Downside Protection Comes at a Price”). These discoveries are a part of the “Q2 Financial Professional Outlook” report, a quarterly survey released by Russell which polls financial advisers from across the United States.

The survey reveals that 82% of advisers say they are optimistic about the equity markets over the next three years, while only 25% of advisers believe their clients are optimistic.

Regarding client acquisition, nearly three-quarters (72%) of advisers would like additional resources to help acquire retired or almost-retired clients, and only 39% said they were looking for help in acquiring younger clients.

When advisers were asked if they wished for more information and resources, there were diverse responses to the question. The Russell survey says that 74% of advisers want more resources to help communicate their value to clients, and approximately two-thirds (65%) of advisers want help educating clients about realistic return expectations.

Sixty-three percent of advisers want to keep clients focused on their long-term goals during volatile periods, while 60% say they guide conversations toward controllable factors. Meanwhile, 55% want to help clients understand that a diversified portfolio will have over-performing and under-performing components. 

Russell has released its latest report in full here.