BlackRock’s Global “Investor Pulse Survey” found that five years after the peak of the financial crisis, a majority of American investors are still cautious while advisors are bullish about the future. BlackRock interviewed 4,000 American investors, including 1,399 with advisors, and 505 advisors as part of a poll of more than 17,000 individuals worldwide.
The survey found that for American investors, 41 percent of advised respondents are “staying in a holding pattern.” Just 21 percent said they are currently taking on more risk in their investment portfolios.
Yet, nearly two thirds (63 percent) of advisors are bullish about the market’s likely performance over the next six months and 74 percent are feeling bullish about the next two years, the poll found.
BlackRock found that many investors continue to hold a significant percentage of low or no-return cash investments. Among the advised respondents, more than a third (34 percent) of their investable assets are currently in cash/savings accounts. And 87 percent of those holding cash said that this allocation will either remain the same (50 percent) or increase (37 percent) over the next 12 months.
Advisors view investor overreliance on cash as a serious mistake. Forty-seven percent cited “holding too much cash” among the most common mistakes made by investors when planning their saving and investing. When asked what would encourage clients to invest more of their cash savings into other types of investments, “a recommendation from me” was cited by 54 percent of advisors.
Nearly eight in 10 advised investors say that their advisor has been helpful in listening to their concerns and answering their investing questions over the past 12 months.
Seventy-nine percent of advised investors also credit their advisors with making sure their portfolio has the best mix of investments. Seventy-three percent say their advisors have helped them stay informed of market conditions and trends, and the same, 73 percent, also credit their advisors with helping with pre-retirement/retirement planning.
Advised investors are more confident than the unadvised in their ability to achieve goals such as "growing my wealth" (72 percent vs. 61 percent ), “paying off other [non-mortgage] debt” (80 percent vs. 69 percent), and “funding a comfortable retirement" (70 percent vs. 55 percent).
And 73 percent of advised investors agree that their savings and investments are for the long-term, compared with 44 percent of those unadvised.
“Every individual needs to stay actively involved in the management and direction of their own financial future, as a planner, a saver and an investor," said Frank Porcelli, managing director and head of BlackRock’s U.S. retail business. "Our poll clearly demonstrates the valued role advisors play in keeping clients focused on today’s many opportunities to make their future more financially secure.”