More than eight in 10 of the 275 advisors surveyed (86%) said they believe the economy will be the same or better in 2013. However, 73% said they believe their clients are apprehensive or fearful about the year ahead, with less than 1% describing their clients’ mindsets as optimistic.
Their views also differed with regard to their financial well-being in 2012 compared to four years ago. Three in four advisors said they are better off than they were four years ago. However, when asked how advisors thought clients would compare their current situation to four years ago, 55% thought their clients would say they are worse off.
“Whether it’s real or perceived, advisors believe their clients have a different perception of the markets than the advisors do,” Kevin Crowe, head of Product Development for the SEI Advisor Network, said in a statement.
Advisors and their clients also had different worries. Nearly one-third (30%) of the advisors identified avoidance of the fiscal cliff as their clients’ top priority, followed by positive financial markets (24%), Congress working better together (15%), and a reduced federal deficit (13%). Advisors, however, saw the federal deficit and economic uncertainty as their biggest concerns, with 33% listing them as their top worries.
Advisors’ views about the fiscal cliff and the nation’s deficit were at odds with their optimistic outlook for 2013. Only 21% believe that Congress will come up with a fiscal cliff solution by year end that will have a positive impact on the economy. More than half (54%) believe Congress will be gridlocked on the fiscal cliff, and 23% believe that Congress will come up with a solution that will have a negative impact on the economy.