The index registered 51.4, an increase from the previous reading of 49.8, according to a Financial Planning survey of planning professionals. RACI readings below 50 show a decline relative to the prior month, while more than 50 indicate expansion.
Advisors reported moving more client investments into equities and target-date funds; they also noted a jump in retirement products sold to clients. "As year-end approached, we encouraged more clients to consider retirement plan contributions," one advisor said.
Although fiscal cliff concerns persisted during the period covered by the survey, advisors sounded more optimistic after the election reduced their clients' uncertainty levels. "Overall, clients were feeling better about the economy and their investments," another said.
The index is composed of 12 factors - including asset allocations, investment product recommendations, client recruitment and retention, economic and risk factors, taxes and plan fees - to track trends in wealth management business cycles.