Advisors say more of their clients are becoming pessimistic about their finances as the instability of the markets continues, according to a Russell Investments survey released Tuesday.

Advisors estimate 29 percent of their clients are now pessimistic about their financial future, compared to 22 percent who said the same in the fourth quarter of last year. Clients are reacting to the volatility in the markets as well as trends such as falling commodity prices and divergent global markets, Russell Investments says in the survey of 250 advisors.

Likewise, 72 percent of advisors say they are concerned about volatility, compared to 40 percent who are worried about their aging client base, 34 percent about the DOL fiduciary rule changes expected to be announced Wednesday and 28 percent about rising interest rates.

“Advisors' focus on volatility makes sense, given the prolonged period of market instability and related negative sentiment among clients,” says Sam Ushio, director of practice management for Russell Investments' U.S. advisor-sold business. 

Advisors identified relationship development with centers of influence as their top strategy for enhancing their competitiveness and increasing growth, as well as reengineering client-service models and investing in technology.

“In a continually evolving environment, a big picture mentality will be critical to continue meeting client needs while maintaining a competitive advantage,” Ushio says.