FSI Releases Poll of Nearly 3,000 Financial Advisors

February 7, 2012

Romney Strong; Economic/Tax Outlook Bleak; DOL Fiduciary Rule Thumbs Down

The Financial Services Institute (FSI) today released the results of a poll of their financial advisor members that focuses on national politics, the economy, tax and regulatory issues, as well as equities performance.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the runaway favorite to win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the presidency with the 2,938 financial advisors who completed the survey. They also believe that the Senate will shift to Republican control; that the economy will stay flat while taxes go up; and that the Department of Labor (DOL) should not redefine the term “fiduciary.” They also weigh in on other critical matters.

“Financial advisors are on the front lines of securing the financial futures of hard-working Americans and they have strong and insightful opinions,” said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “Of particular concern to FSI, it is clear that advisors do not believe the Department of Labor should be redefining the term fiduciary, which would price millions of Americans out of advice on their IRAs. The Department would do well to listen to these advisors and keep their expert opinions in mind, as they move forward in their process. I am greatly encouraged by the incredible response we received to this poll–especially during the busiest time of the year for advisors, which is tax season. We look forward to releasing another poll in Q2.”

Survey Results

Question 1: Who do you believe will be the GOP Presidential nominee (not who do you want to win, but who will end up winning)?

Mitt Romney 2,613 90%
Ron Paul 22 1%
Newt Gingrich 248 9%
Rick Santorum 32 1%

Question 2: Question: If the election was held today, would you vote for President Obama or Mitt Romney?

President Obama 536 19%
Mitt Romney 2,356 81%

Question 3: If the election was held today, would you vote for President Obama or Ron Paul?

President Obama 804 28%
Ron Paul 2,041 72%

Question 4: If the election was held today, would you vote for President Obama or Newt Gingrich?

President Obama 753 26%
Newt Gingrich 2,102 74%

Question 5: If the election was held today, would you vote for President Obama or Rick Santorum?

President Obama 718 25%
Rick Santorum 2,152 75%

Question 6: Will the U.S. Senate stay in Democrat control or shift to Republican control?

Democrat 901 31%
Republican 1,996 69%

Question 7: Do you believe capital gains taxes are heading up or down?

Up 2,605 91%
Down 273 9%

Question 8: Do you believe 2012 will be a strong, neutral or weak year for equities performance?

Strong 1,047 36%
Neutral 1,621 56%
Weak 252 9%

Question 9: Do you believe the Department of Labor should redefine the definition of fiduciary for financial advisors giving advice on IRAs?

Yes 798 28%
No 2,078 72%

Question 10: Will the US economy recover in 2012, stay flat or worsen?

Recover 1,126 38%
Stay flat 1,618 55%
Worsen 181 6%

The survey was conducted in-house by FSI. All 35,000 FSI financial advisor members were emailed a link to the survey through a secure database and completed the questionnaire online. The survey was conducted January 30 through February 6.