The turbulent financial climate is increasing the number of potential clients for many financial planners, while existing clients and the planners themselves are by-and-large sticking with their predetermined financial plans or even using this opportunity to buy lower-priced stocks, according to a new 'Pulse' survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.

Of the 5,261 CFPs who responded to the online survey, 27% say they have seen a significant increase and 39% have seen a moderate increase in the number of potential clients in recent weeks. At the same time, 46% feel it will be two years before consumers see an improvement in the economy, while another 32% expect it will take two to five years.

When asked how they and their clients are responding to the current market chaos, 78% say they and an equal percentage of clients are generally sticking to existing strategies. But at the same time, 45% of the planners and an equal percentage of clients are moving assets to lower-risk options and nearly equal percentages (42% of planners and 40% of clients) are taking advantage of low stock prices. (Planners were able to give more than one answer to some questions about their actions and those of their clients.) Only 17% of planners say the government response to the financial crisis will change their vote in the presidential election, while 78% say it will not make a difference. At the same time, only 11% feel the government rescue bill will definitely improve the situation, while 42% think it will be moderately successful.