American financial advisers were most concerned about regulatory and political developments in third quarter of 2016, according to the latest Fidelity Advisor Investment Pulse study.
Over 28% of advisers surveyed said that they have topics including Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule on investment advice and the upcoming U.S. presidential election on top of their mind, as against 21% in the second quarter and 16% in the first quarter.
Fidelity Institutional Asset Management president Scott Couto said: “Advisors have spent a large part of this year assessing the impact of the DOL rule on their business model and how they work with clients. On top of that, they’ve had to work hard to help investors manage through a backdrop of political uncertainty.
“Although these developments can be a source of anxiety, it’s critical that advisors help clients focus on what they can control by making sure they stay the course and stick to a solid, long-term investment plan.”
Advisers were also increasingly concerned on interest rates this quarter, with nearly 14% citing the issue as a concern, compared to 7% in the first quarter and 11% in the second quarter.
The study highlighted that the increasing focus on interest rates comes with the probability of a Fed rate hike in December, which has rose from below 10% at the end of the second quarter to over 72% as of 25 October 2016.
“However, as history has shown, trying to guess when the Fed will raise interest rates is not always the most productive exercise. Regardless of whether and when we’ll see an increase in interest rates, it is important for advisors to use the opportunity to educate their clients on the role of fixed income in a diversified portfolio,” Couto said.
Other topics that were on top of mind of advisers this quarter are portfolio management with 25% citing it as a focus area, market volatility with 25% citing it as focus, and finding yield and income cited by 8% as focus area.