Advisors have started to worry. After a spring runup, advisor sentiment fell again in July, driven by a sharp drop in risk tolerance and an allocation shift toward cash out of equities and bonds, according to a newFinancial Planning survey.
The Retirement Advisor Confidence Index - ourmonthly barometer of business conditions for wealth managers - dropped for a second consecutive month.Risk tolerance waskey, sinking almost 20 points. Advisors also reported declines in allocations to equities and bonds, an uptick in cash and a dip in the fees they charge for retirement planning activity.
Many advisors raised concerns about a possible market correction. "Clients are becoming more cautious with new money and not anxious to buy more equities, bond fund or bonds going out more than seven years," said one. "The volatility is making more people think the rally is ending."
Several advisors said Washington was to blame for client worries. Some cited concerns from business-owner clients about Obamacare implementation; others focused on Fed action, or lack of it. "The uncertainty of the Fed's future stimulus efforts has clouded the market for the near-term future," one advisor said.
The surveyalso turned up advisor concerns over their fees. One respondent highlighted worries over shifting advice models. "Competition remains fierce. There are a number of newer, very low cost options available," the advisor said.
The index is composed of 10 factors - including asset allocations, investment product recommendations, economic and risk factors, taxes and planning fees - to track trends in wealth management business cycles.