Intro to Findings of CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey
Back in 1986, Warren Buffet made one of his most astute observations: “Occasional outbreaks of two super-contagious diseases—fear and greed—will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable.”
He could have not been more prophetic.
As we were winding up our 4th annual CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey™ in late February, Covid tore through the country. We decided to extend the survey another six weeks so we could have a more balanced view of advisor sentiment pre- and post-Covid onset. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad we did.
While the carnage has been wide and deep throughout the world, our research shows U.S. advisors remain buoyant. In fact, four out of five advisors (79%) told us they expected to see their practices grow in 2020—up from 74 percent who said so in January and February of this year, shortly before Covid emerged in the U.S.
The prevailing sentiment seemed to be that we would recover relatively quickly from the crisis after enduring severe short-term pain. As one survey respondent told us: “We have never seen a recession as a deliberate policy choice before (this is very important to understand).”
Another respondent told us: “We’re most likely in an ‘event-driven’ bear market which was triggered by an exogenous shock (i.e., pandemic) rather than in a more serious type of bear market that is structural or cyclical.”
Yet another said today’s situation reminded him of other event-driven downturns such as the ’73 oil crisis, or earlier World Wars. “Event-driven bear markets are the easiest breed of bear to tame,” he said. “We tend to recover much faster from event-driven bear markets than we do from structural and cyclical bear markets.”
Further, “Recessions only follow bear market about two-thirds of the time,” one respondent chided us.
Clearly, the pandemic has created enormous demand for financial advice and reassurance. Millions of Americans are contemplating their own legacy (perhaps demise). Uncertainty about markets, economy, interest rates, taxes, estate exemptions and Covid relief is keeping advisors very, very busy. In fact, the percentage of firms expecting to grow by double digits in 2020 increased to (38%) since the COVID onset, from 35% in early 2020 and from 28% in Q1/2019.
Contact us today for a complete copy of Mr. Berkowitz’s presentation