FSI Poll: Advisors Weigh in on Presidential Race, Economy & More
Stagnant Economy and Increased Taxes PredictedAugust 14, 2012
The Financial Services Institute (FSI) today released the results of a poll of its independent financial advisor members that focuses on the November elections, the economy, taxes and other issues impacting their Main Street clients. This poll expanded on the poll FSI conducted in February with nearly 2,400 financial advisors completing the survey.
In the presidential race, former Governor Mitt Romney is the heavily favored candidate among independent financial advisors, with 81% of respondents citing the former Massachusetts governor as their candidate of choice. However, it is more evenly split when asked who they believe will actually win in November, with 1,104 advisors believing Obama will have a second term in office and 1,244 suspect Romney will win.
The economy is the top issue influencing the financial advisors’ vote for president. They also predict that Republicans will take control of the Senate, capital gains taxes will increase, equities and the economy will hold steady for the remainder of 2012 and that the Department of Labor should not redefine the definition of fiduciary.
“Independent financial advisors have a unique viewpoint of the intersection of politics and the economy,” said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “Advisors work closely with Main Street clients every day, helping them secure their financial futures by planning for what is expected down the road. This poll shows the economy and taxes are weighing heavily on the minds of advisors and in the planning they do for their clients. They are bracing themselves and their clients for a stagnant economy and an increase in capital gains taxes.”
Question 1: Who do you believe will win the race for the White House this fall, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney (not who do you want to win, but who will end up winning)?
Barack Obama 1,104 47 % Mitt Romney 1,244 53 %
Question 2: If the election was held today, would you vote for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
Barack Obama 365 15 % 536 19 % Mitt Romney 1,907 81 % 2,356 81 % Other 88 4 % N/A N/A
Question 3: What is the top issue affecting your vote for president this year?
Economy/Jobs 1,501 63 % Foreign Affairs 17 1 % Healthcare 177 7 % National Defense 15 1 % National Debt 492 21 % Other 171 7 %
Question 4: Will the U.S. Senate stay in Democrat control or shift to Republican control?
Democrat 699 30 % 901 31 % Republican 1,649 70 % 1,996 69 %
Question 5: Do you believe capital gains taxes are heading up or down?
Up 2,221 95 % 2,605 91 % Down 122 5 % 273 9 %
Question 6: Do you believe the [remainder] of 2012 will be a strong, neutral or weak year for equities performance?
Strong 473 20 % 1,047 36 % Neutral 1,514 64 % 1,621 56 % Weak 383 16 % 252 9 %
Question 7: Do you believe the Department of Labor should redefine the definition of fiduciary for financial advisors effectively banning the earning of commissions on IRA advice?
Yes 253 11 % 798 28 % No 2,106 89 % 2,078 72 %
Question 8: Will the U.S. economy recover in 2012, stay flat or worsen?
Recover 377 16 % 1,126 38 % Stay Flat 1,634 69 % 1,618 55 % Worsen 361 15 % 181 6 %
Question 9: Does your future business model include a greater movement to fees versus commissions?
Yes 1,724 73 % No 638 27 %
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. 2,376 financial advisors completed the poll which was conducted August 8-10.