Seventy-eight percent of advisers increased the number and duration of client contacts in 2009 to regain their trust after the very difficult year before, and while that has distracted many from business strategies, 68% of advisers are confident about their practices in the coming year. This is according to a survey of 1,804 advisers and 150 broker/dealers that Curian Capital conducted via Zoomerang.

The survey, titled “2010 Outlook for Adviser Priorities,” found that 33% of advisers believe their business model needs to change but are uncertain how. Only 56% of advisers have a strategic plan in place to grow their business, and of this group, a mere 10% are confident this strategy is sound.

The survey also found that more than half of advisers’ clients have lowered their retirement expectations, and more than half of the advisers now take a more tactical approach to portfolio construction.

“While the downturn clearly had a significant impact on advisers and investors, our survey results show that advisers responded proactively to the challenge by spending more time with clients and finding new ways to help them meet their financial goals in an extremely volatile environment,” said Michael Bell, president and CEO of Curian Capital. “With the new focus on managing client emotions and increasing communication, advisers may have lost sight of their own strategic business planning objectives to some degree—but they remain optimistic about the coming year.”

Chris Rosato, Curian’s senior vice president of strategic development, added; “Most advisers responding to our survey indicate that their clients’ goals and priorities have changed dramatically since the downturn. As a result, advisers have had to make a fundamental shift in their approach to portfolio construction, client interaction and proactive management.

“The advisers who recognize the need for change and seek out new solutions for meeting their clients’ needs will be the most successful in the coming year,” Rosato added.

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