FSI

FSI Poll: Main Street Financial Advisors Weigh in on Presidential Election, Industry Issues

Advisors Overwhelmingly want President-Elect to Repeal DOL Rule

November 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Financial Services Institute (FSI), the largest trade association for independent financial services firms and independent financial advisors, today released the results of its latest poll of 1,300+ financial advisors that focuses on the presidential elections and critical industry issues facing independent financial advisors – including the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule. FSI members are Main Street financial advisors and independent financial services firms. 

According to the poll results, independent financial advisors overwhelmingly said President-elect Donald Trump should repeal the DOL fiduciary rule (86%). Just over half of advisors said the economy and equities performance will be strong in 2017. Only 21% of advisors plan to sell their practice or retire in the next 1-5 years while 34% plan to acquire another practice. Only 3% believe tax increases should be a part of any tax reform deal next year. And over half of advisors now have a succession plan in place – up 10% from our last poll two years ago.

“Main Street financial advisors serving retirement savers have their finger on the pulse of the lives of their hard-working clients and it’s important that we tap into their perspective,” said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “Our members have a unique vantage point on these issues, as they work closely with investors of all sizes and means, to help them save for retirement, fund their children’s education and care for aging parents. Our members, who are Main Street not Wall Street, contributed $48 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2015.Their call to repeal the DOL fiduciary rule as soon as possible is driven by their clients’ need to access their help in securing a dignified retirement. Last year, the clients of our members sent over 100,000 letters to the Department of Labor, pleading for relief from the rule. It’s time we allow these professionals to serve their clients in a way that they want and deserve to be served.” 

Survey Results: 

Note: Trends will be marked with an * 

Question 1: Should President Trump revoke the DOL fiduciary rule? 

Yes 86%
No 14% 

Question 2: With the presidential and congressional elections over, will the economy in 2017 be: 

Strong 58%
Neutral 36%
Weak 6% 

Question 3: Do you believe 2017 will be a strong, neutral or weak year for equities performance? 

Strong 56%
Neutral 37%
Weak 7% 

Question 4: Looking forward to 2017, many are calling for tax reform. Should raising taxes, cutting spending or both be considered?

Raise taxes 3%
Cut spending 49%
Both 26%
Other 22%

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

Yes 34%
No 66% 

* In July 2014, yes was 29%

Question 6: If yes, what is your primary motivating factor for the acquisition: 

Need for scale to remain profitable 28%
Opportunity too good to pass up 19%
Excited about the future of the business 23%
Expand services and clientele you sell 19%
Other 11%

Question 7: Do you plan to buy/acquire another practice or book of business in the next 5-10 years? 

Yes 27%
No 73% 

* In July 2014, yes was 24%

Question 8: If yes, what is your primary motivating factor for the acquisition: 

Need for scale to remain profitable 29%
Opportunity too good to pass up 13%
Excited about the future of the business 27%
Expand services and clientele you sell 22%
Other 9%

Question 9: Do you plan to retire or sell your practice in the next 1-5 years? 

Yes 21%
No 79% 

* In July 2014, yes was 15% 

Question 10: If yes, what is your primary reason for exiting the business: 

Retirement 64%
Compliance burdens 7%
DOL Fiduciary rule 12%
Opportunity to monetize practice 4%
Career change 1%
Other 12% 

Question 11: Do you plan to retire or sell your practice in the next 5-10 years? 

Yes 26%
No 74% 

* In July 2014, yes was 29%

Question 12: If yes, what is your primary reason for exiting the business: 

Retirement 67%
Compliance burdens 7%
DOL Fiduciary rule 6%
Opportunity to monetize practice 9%
Career change 1%
Other 11% 

Question 13: Do you have a business succession plan finalized and in place? 

Yes 51%
No 49% 

* In July 2014, yes was 41%

Question 14: Which candidate did you cast your vote for president? 

Trump 71%
Clinton 19%
Other 10% 

The survey was conducted in-house by FSI. All FSI independent financial advisor members were emailed a link to the survey through a secure database and completed the questionnaire online. 1,357 independent financial advisors completed the poll which was conducted the week after the election. 

About the Financial Services Institute (FSI): The Financial Services Institute (FSI) is the only organization advocating solely on behalf of independent financial advisors and independent financial services firms. Since 2004, through advocacy, education and public awareness, FSI has successfully promoted a more responsible regulatory environment for more than 100 independent financial services firm members and their 160,000+ affiliated financial advisors – which comprise over 60% of all producing registered representatives. We effect change through involvement in FINRA governance as well as constructive engagement in the regulatory and legislative processes, working to create a healthier regulatory environment for our members so they can provide affordable, objective advice to hard-working Main Street Americans. For more information, please visit financialservices.org.

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