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FSI Poll: Advisors Weigh in on Presidential Race, Economy & More

Financial Services Institute / FSI Poll: Advisors Weigh in on Presidential Race, Economy & More

FSI Poll: Advisors Weigh in on Presidential Race, Economy & More

Stagnant Economy and Increased Taxes Predicted
August 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.”

Survey Results

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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?

August 2012

February 2012

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.