A Fidelity Investments poll of broker/dealers and RIA firms found 86% intend to accelerate firm growth and profitability this year by hiring more advisers and brokers, in addition to building new and existing client relationships. Only 2% say eliminating or cutting non-essential costs will be the biggest driver of profitability this year, compared to 27% in 2009.

Still, the financial services sales professionals don’t expect the renewed uptick in business to be easygoing. For 47% of B/Ds and RIAs, client acquisition and retention is the biggest concern for 2010. Sixty-four percent do not expect the S&P 500 to fully recover to its October 2007 high of 1,576 until after 2010.

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