New FSI Poll: Financial Advisors Weigh in on Midterm Elections, Industry Issues

July 9, 2014

The Financial Services Institute (FSI) today released the results of the latest poll of 2,300 independent financial advisors that focuses on the upcoming midterm elections and critical industry issues facing independent financial advisors.

According to poll results, independent financial advisors believe the Republican Party will gain control of the Senate after the elections in November (66%). Less than half of advisors (43%) said equities will have a strong show the rest of 2014. And opposition to the Department of Labor’s pending rule to redefine the term “fiduciary” continues to hold strong at 90%. Only 41% of financial advisors responded that they have a succession plan finalized and in place to pass along their practice once they retire. And only 15% of advisors said they plan to retire or sell their practice in the next 1-5 years.

“Independent financial advisors have their finger on the pulse of politics and policy as Washington and state capitals play an ever-increasing role in their business,” said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “Our independent financial advisor members have a unique vantage point on these issues as they work closely with Main Street American investors on a daily basis. Financial advisor opposition to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary definition proposal has also held strong over the past year. We see no sign of complacency creeping in as the rule is postponed yet again.”

Survey Results:

Question 1: Do you believe 2014 will end as a strong, neutral or weak year for equities performance?

Strong              43%
Neutral         49%
Weak               8%

Question 2: Do you believe Republicans will gain control of the Senate in the midterm elections this November?

Yes                 66%
No                   34%

Question 3: Do you believe the Department of Labor (DOL) should redefine the definition of “fiduciary” for financial advisors effectively banning the earning of commissions on IRA advice?

Yes                  10%
No                   90%

Question 4: Do you plan to buy/acquire another practice or book of business in the next 1-5 years?

Yes                  29%
No                   71%

Question 5: Do you plan to buy/acquire another practice or book of business in the next 6-10 years?

Yes                  24%
No                   76%

Question 6: Do you plan to retire or sell your practice in the next 1-5 years?

Yes                  15%
No                   85%

Question 7: Do you plan to retire or sell your practice in the next 6-10 years?

Yes                  29%
No                   71%

Question 8: Do you have a business succession plan finalized and in place?

Yes                  41%
No                  59%

The survey was conducted in-house by FSI. All 37,000 FSI financial advisor members were emailed a link to the survey through a secure database and completed the questionnaire online. 2,331 financial advisors completed the poll which was conducted June 9-13.