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How Trump is affecting client behavior

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Advisers have a new factor to contend with when helping clients decide where to allocate funds: Trump.

The president's policies, and tweets, are weighing heavily on client psychology, driving some to raise allocations to U.S. equities and others to hesitate about investing any new funds, advisers say.

The latest edition of the Global Asset Allocation Tracker shows allocations to domestic equities remained at last month's record high. The survey, which polled 326 advisers, also showed little to no increase in allocations to global equities and bonds.

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Some planners report they and their clients have a positive outlook on U.S. equities due to the perceived pro-business policies of Congress and the president. Several also cited potential tax cuts and the so-called Trump bump in domestic markets.

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Others, however, say that Trump's actions and comments have made clients more "worried," particularly about investing in global equities. This has proved frustrating for planners who see buying opportunities in international markets due to more favorable valuations.

One planner was blunt the president's effect on clients: "Trump is scary."

Another adviser says: "Our clients are varying in vacillating opinions due to the recent presidential changes and due to this more clients are adamant in their choices regardless of financial advising."

Several planners cited "tremendous uncertainty" about how the new administration's policies could affect international markets as well as U.S. companies with significant overseas business.

"Because of the aggressive rhetoric circulating right now we are hesitant to increase allocations to emerging markets," an adviser says.

A few planners, however, shrugged off the ups and downs of this political moment.

"My asset allocation is based on a client's long-term goals, not the current fad," an adviser says.