What's worrying advisors now? A pair of new studies released this week find that planners' biggest concerns now center on a potential equity market downturn.
The most recent Fidelity Advisor Pulse survey, conducted in the second quarter, shows that market volatility is the No. 1 issue on the minds of the more than 200 advisors polled. That's a noticeable change from the first quarter of 2014, when advisors ranked both managing portfolios and fixed income markets as areas of greater concern.
At the same time, market volatility is the No. 1 conversation topic initiated by clients, according to advisors surveyed in the second-quarter Financial Professional Outlook study from Russell Investments -- and only 25% say their clients are optimistic.
Clients are concerned about the prospect of a market correction around the corner, says advisor Tom Orecchio of Westwood, N.J.-based Modera Wealth Management. The last time the S&P 500 suffered a 10% drop was in the summer of 2011.
"I think the concerns are due to the fact that we haven't seen a traditional pullback in three years," says Orecchio. "There is a lot of fear of the what if ... the feeling is, it's due."
In the Fidelity survey, many advisors cited the challenge of making sure clients continue to benefit from bull-market conditions while also protecting them against a downturn.
Orecchio says he is talking to clients about the potential for a market dip -- and urge them to avoid panicking if and when a correction materializes.
"People sometimes get lulled into a false sense of security," says Orecchio. "We try to prepare them for a normal size correction of 10% to 20%."
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