Most remain optimistic despite interest rates, tax changes, market volatility and bumpy VAX rollout
Our 5th annual CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey™ is coming to a close. Despite recent market turbulence, preliminary data indicates that only two in five advisors (44%) believe a market correction of more than 10 percent is “very likely” in 2021 and just one in five believe the COVID-induced recession will last more than six more months. While investors were unnerved by the prospect of higher interest rates and inflation last week, just one in seven (15%) advisors we surveyed believed rising interest rates are a “significant” concern over the next 12 months.
James Nevers of Seattle-based Soundmark Advisors told us the markets endure a 20-percent correction only once every five years–even the average “intra-year spread” is about 14 percent from market high to market low.
These are just some of the reasons that advisors of all stripes remain optimistic about 2021. More than four out of five surveyed advisors (81%) told us they expect their practices to grow over the next 12 months. What’s more, nearly two in five respondents (38%) expect their practices to grow by more than 10 percent in the year ahead—up from 21 percent who felt this buoyant at this time a year ago.
What are firms doing differently in 2021?
- They’re contacting their clients more frequently. More than half (54%) are contact clients 2-or-more times per month, up from 47-percent who said so at this time a year ago.
- They’re doing more public speaking (65%), holding more virtual client events and webinars (52%), getting more press mentions (47%), publishing more bylined articles (46%) and producing more videos (37%).
- They’re offering more business exit planning services, more estate & gift planning advice, more executive compensation advice and more trust services.
- They’re also being more aggressive about seeking advanced certifications (45%).
“A thought leader must have channels to effectively communicate her/his message of influence to people,” observed advisor and consultant Lionel Shipman. “My most effective communication channel is speaking, whether it is giving a presentation with slides, hosting a radio show, or facilitating a seminar/workshop because I can closely connect with people as we share a common space,” Shipman added.
So, what actions are advisors taking to help clients feel more confident about reaching their financial goals?
- Nearly all (95%) said “go beyond investments.”
- More than nine out of ten respondents (91%) said helping clients “focus on the long-term” and “doing more frequent reviews.”
- Seven out of eight (88%) said “delivering on core expectations.”
*** NOTE: We’re keeping the survey open for another week. Give us five minutes of your time and we’ll send you a 20-page pre-publication summary of the findings. See how you stack up to your peers.
Our 2021 survey is a joint initiative of CPA Trendlines, Elite Resource Team, The Financial Awareness Foundation, the Investments & Wealth Institute and HB Publishing & Marketing Company. We don’t make money from the survey or share email addresses or individual responses of participants. We’re just trying to give back to the profession.
What’s your take? I’d like to hear from you.
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