Asked which of the presidential candidates they would select as having a positive impact on the U.S. economy and investing, 36% of financial advisers point to Rudy Giuliani, followed by Mitt Romney (30%), John McCain (15%), Barack Obama (7%), Hillary Rodham Clinton (7%) and John Edwards (5%). This is according to a quarterly survey, the “Brinker Barometer,” released by Brinker Capital. For the second quarter, the firm interviewed 250 financial advisers affiliated with insurance companies and independent broker/dealers, as well as those in sole practice.

When asked the opposite—who is likely to have the worst effect on the U.S. economy and investing—Clinton topped the list (60%), followed by Edwards (13%), Obama (12%), Giuliani (6%), McCain (6%) and Romney (4%).

As far as economic optimism is concerned, 81% said they either were “highly confident” or “somewhat confident” about their economic outlook, up sharply from 72% who said so in the first quarter.

“Hearty economic optimism, strong opinions on the presidential election candidates and the impact of Washington policies on client accounts dominate the second quarter’s Brinker Barometer results,” said John Coyne, president of Brinker Capital. “Clearly, advisers are not reticent to express their views, which give us valuable insight into the mindset of the individuals responsible for making investment decisions on the majority of America’s discretionary investing assets.”

Asked what issues have the most negative impact on their clients’ accounts, the largest majority of advisers cited Washington policies (51%), followed by geopolitical developments (50%), stock market volatility (47%) and oil prices (37%). The three factors cited as having the least impact were lower interest rates, deflation and housing prices.

Asked which investments are gaining the most favor among them and their clients, managed money accounts topped advisers’ rankings at 70%, followed by alternative investments (52%), exchange-traded funds (45%) and stock mutual funds (39%). Investments losing most favor are stocks (29%), bonds (28%) and bond mutual funds (13%).

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