Headlines you need to know this week
Survey finds rising pessimism about the economyMore global fund managers are pessimistic about the global economy, in a recent survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Concerned with intensifying trade conflicts and rising interest rates, 85% of managers said they believe the economy is in late cycle. Of the respondents, 38% said they believed the economy would slow down in the next 12 months. The survey also showed that investors maintained a cash level of 5.1%.
Investors seek experience among advisorsMost investors focus on credentials and experience when seeking a financial advisor, according to a recent survey. Among respondents with more than $250,000 in investable assets, 97% said expertise matters, and 90% added that years of experience was a priority when looking for a trusted advisor.
SEC commissioner: Workers need to invest their savingsIndividuals saving for retirement need to invest so that their money will grow, SEC Commissioner Kara Stein said in recent remarks at the Brookings Institute. Concerned with a growing savings crisis among retirees, Stein said there is a need for better financial education for those saving for retirement. She also suggested that President Trump create a Presidential Working Group on Retirement Security to study the issue and make policy recommendations.
Women investors say retirement is a big worryA new survey of more than 1,000 adults over 50 found that having enough money in retirement is a top concern among women. The survey noted that 70% of women are “very concerned” about having sufficient assets to retire and 71% are worried about having enough to cover long-term care. Longevity among women was fueling the concerns, the report stated.
Advisors can build expertise in ESG with new certificateFinancial advisors can add a new certification to their resume focused on socially responsible investing (SRI). The College for Financial Planning and the U.S. Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment have introduced the first certification for sustainable, responsible, and impact investing, according to InvestmentNews. The course will include a range of topics from trends to portfolio construction.
Retaining clients is top issue among advisorsClient retention was the top issue cited in a National Association of Plan Advisors survey of more than 500 retirement plan advisors. The most “over hyped” industry trend was robo-advisors, the study found. More than half of respondents said they would like more information about health savings accounts. Among plan sponsors, cybersecurity ranked second as a growing concern.
Investors want to talk to a human for investment adviceMany investors use automated investment advice, but the majority in a recent survey said they want to consult with a human advisor. The survey of 1,000 adults found that most participants were comfortable using automated technology to manage daily finances. But the majority preferred to work with a human advisor when managing investments or creating a financial plan.
When advisors want advice: Find a mentorAdvisors who are new to the industry may find they need some guidance on setting up a practice. Beyond financial planning expertise, new advisors need to navigate marketing and managing their practice, as well as handle administrative and compliance responsibilities. Some advisors seek a mentor for guidance, and veteran advisors can offer ideas on matters such as prospecting and client retention.
Investors’ stock allocation reaches 4-month highDespite concerns about global trade conflicts and market volatility, investors continue to buy stocks, and allocations to equities reached a four-month high in September, according to the AAII Asset Allocation Survey. Allocations to stocks and stock funds rose to 69.9%, marking the 11th straight month in which stock allocations were higher than their historical average. Investors reduced allocations to bonds and cash.
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