Advisor confidence in the economy and stock market in August sunk to its lowest level in 16 months, according to The Advisor Confidence Index from Rydex/SGI. 

The index declined roughly 9% to 93.80 from a month earlier.

The ACI results share the same pessimistic outlook as Schwab’s recent semiannual survey, which found half of advisors saying their clients are less optimistic about the market and the economy than they were a year ago. The lowest point for the ACI was October 2008 when it dropped to 79.07.

Advisors surveyed by Rydex/SGI appear to be most concerned about the lack of meaningful job growth in the country. Debt, housing, consumer confidence also remain weak. On the positive side, corporate earnings and revenue continue to grow steadily.

“While a significant economic slowdown is now baked into the cake, it is still uncertain as to whether the slowdown will transition into a new recession,” James Dailey, a portfolio manager for TEAM Financial Managers in Harrisburg, PA said in the survey response. “We expect the Fed to get increasingly aggressive as employment figures deteriorate in the coming weeks/months, which could result in further currency and commodity volatility.”

The Rydex/SGI AdvisorBenchmarking also surveyed advisors about the changes they made to their asset allocations in August. Among the results: About a third (32%) of advisors increased allocations to emerging market equities and cash. Almost one fourth (23%) increased allocation to the non-U.S. (developed market) equities, 30% decreased allocation to U.S. large-cap growth and 16% increased allocation to high yield bonds.

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