Pain at the pump is evidently getting to financial advisors, too, as 48% of advisors polled said that addressing the nation's energy needs should top the agenda during the first 100 days of the next administration and Congress, said a survey of 380 advisors by Brinker Capital.
The need to boost consumer and business spending through economic stimulus and tax incentives received the second-most votes (20%), according to the Brinker Barometer, a quarterly survey conducted by the Berwyn, Pa.-based investment management firm. The economy was the top concern in the first quarter.
Of those polled, 77% thought Republican candidate John McCain would do a better job solving the energy crisis versus 23% for Democrat candidate Barack Obama.
"Of particular note," said Brinker Capital president John Coyne, "advisors continue to feel optimistic about the economy and the markets, with 63% of advisors saying they are either 'highly confident' or 'somewhat confident' about the economy, and 62% giving the same responses about the markets."
But energy looms big, and 51% of advisors believe that eased restrictions on off-shore drilling would have the biggest impact on alleviating the energy crunch, while 35% thought boosting spending on alternative energy sources was a better bet and 13% opted for tightened regulation on oil speculation. McCain's proposal for a "gas tax holiday" received just 1% of advisors' votes.
Elsewhere, 65% of advisors felt that raising capital gains would have the worst impact on the economy, followed by repealing the estate tax cut (15%) and increasing the amount of earnings covered by Social Security (7%).