An overwhelming majority of advisors expect 2013 to be a better business year than 2012, according to an SEI survey released Tuesday.
The poll of 150 advisors showed that 91 percent think their firms’ 2013 revenues will be better than 2012, says Oaks, Pa.-based SEI, a global provider of investment processing, fund processing and investment management business outsourcing solutions.
When asked their views on the direction of the economy as a whole, 41 percent of advisors polled predict “slow and steady growth ahead,” while 40 percent of respondents say the country is “headed for a near-term correction” and 13 percent believe “it’s only a matter of time until our next recession.”
The biggest worry for advisors right now is the federal debt, which ranked highest for 54 percent, followed by the European and Chinese economies with 16 percent, and the impact of tax increases with 13 percent.
The poll also revealed that economic concerns dating back to 2008 have changed the advisor/client dynamic, says SEI, with 72 percent of advisors saying their clients have become more demanding in the wake of the financial crisis.
“Perhaps not surprising then is the fact that 70 percent of advisors say they spend the majority of their time these days working with existing clients,” SEI says.
“It may seem counterintuitive, but I’m not surprised that advisors are confident in their businesses, despite prevailing concerns on the economy,” says Steve Onofrio, senior vice president and head of sales for SEI Advisor Network. “The reality is that the financial crisis and the choppy economy that followed forced a lot of advisors to put new processes and practices in place to meet the growing demands of their clients, making their businesses stronger in the process. We’ve worked with many advisors in recent years to do just that and I think the renewed confidence is a reflection of the ongoing evolution of the industry.”
When asked what term best describes their business approach, 39 percent describe themselves as wealth managers, 37 percent describe themselves as financial planners, 16 percent say they customize their approach to match each individual client and 8 percent say they are investment advisors.
The poll showed that advisors are using mobile technologies in their business. Only 3 percent say they do not use social media at all. Forty-eight percent are using LinkedIn, 27 percent use Facebook, and 13 percent use Twitter. Sixty-seven percent say they are currently using tablets or mobile devices.