Two pieces of news provide a flicker of hope amid the doom and gloom.
By Cyril Tuohy
Even if advisors don’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, it’s the thoughts that count -- no matter how fleeting.
Advisors’ top resolutions for 2014 include increasing referrals from current clients (85 percent), boosting their office efficiency (67 percent), integrating technology (59 percent), meeting influential industry experts (59 percent) and being more selective about taking on new clients (48 percent), according to a poll of 824 advisors conducted by the SEI Advisor Network.
John Anderson, head of practice management with the SEI Advisor Network, said that most advisors have had a “very good year,” and that many are looking to build on their successes. .
“I think it is great to see that while still focusing on growth (mostly via referrals), advisors are looking to make their offices more efficient and better organized allowing them to run a better business,” he said in a news release. “Increased gross revenue and lower expenses should lead to a better 2014 for all. I hope they keep those resolutions.”
New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep, with some studies finding that as many as 88 percent of all resolutions fail, according to a blog post citing researcher Richard Wiseman. Resolutions often drown in a pool of vagueness, others drop in the priorities list. Or, circumstances change and the promises made on Dec. 31 are all but forgotten or no longer realistic.
Advisors appear to be a pretty content lot, the SEI poll found. A total of 43.7 percent said 2014 will be better than 2013, and 18 percent said the year will be worse. In addition, 38.1 percent said next year will be “about the same” as this year – and this year was a very good year.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up more than 25 percent this year. Interest rates are also rising and expected to continue going up, according to many analysts, as the Federal Reserve signals its intention to dial back or “taper” its massive bond buying program.
With the Dow Jones industrial average in November breaking the 16,000-mark this year for the first time, 34.06 percent of advisors said the benchmark will fall between 16,500 and 17,000 a year from now. A total of 20.7 percent said it will end between 16,000 and 16,500, and 20.7 percent said it will end between 17,000 and 17,500.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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