A vast majority of advisors are predicting a good market next year and a large group say they are excited about their prospects, according to an SEI Quick Poll of 463 advisors released Wednesday.
Thirty-one percent of those surveyed say they are excited about the coming year and another 64 percent say they are cautiously optimistic. At the same time, 85 percent say the markets will be as good or better than they were this year, says The SEI Advisors Network unit, a provider of wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies, administration and technology platforms and practice management programs.
“Advisors have clearly taken note of how strong the markets have been in 2014, even in the face of geopolitical uncertainty and shifting investor sentiment,” says Steve Onofrio, senior vice president, sales and service, SEI Advisor Network. “These periods of positive market momentum are the perfect time to reassess clients’ progress towards goals and develop strategies in the event of a market pullback.”
Advisors expect their own firms to grow as well. Seventy-two percent anticipate that their firms will grow by 5 percent over the next year, and 33 percent of them feel their firms will grow between 10 and 15 percent.
Three-quarters of poll respondents say integrating technology to increase their efficiency is a high priority for 2015, but traditional forms of communication remain the preferred method for most. Face-to-face meetings and telephone calls are still used more often by 61 percent of the advisors.
One challenge advisors say they are facing as they grow is to find the right types of clients to fit their firms, “indicating that proper client segmentation is still an opportunity for many firms,” SEI says.
“Segmentation that goes beyond the traditional strategies and focuses more on niche marketing efforts builds stronger relationships with clients and helps advisors grow more intelligently,” says Onofrio. “Segmenting by client needs and goals allows advisors to create tailored communications and provide more relevant service offerings, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.”