Financial advisors and insurance agents reacted Wednesday with a mix of elation and surprise at the victory of Donald J. Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul who ran on a campaign of political outsider and promised voters he would return the nation to greatness.
“I was very elated, I did not get very much sleep,” financial advisor Rose Swanger, principal of Advise Finance in Knoxville, Tennessee, said in an interview.
Swanger went to bed at 2:30 a.m. and was up at 5:30 a.m. hoping that the election results would not be thrown into turmoil as they had in 2000 when the Supreme Court had to intervene between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
“I think the reason the polls were so wrong is that people like me were still in the closet,” said Swanger, who immigrated to the U.S. legally in 1991 from Communist China and became an advisor in 2009. “We agree with Trump and his ideas but we’re afraid to speak about them in public.”
Swanger called the fiduciary rule a “dark cloud,” hanging over the financial advisory industry.
“Right now, everybody is kind of holding their breath,” she said in an interview Tuesday after having cast her vote. “I understand the DOL position, but in some cases, a commission is much better for clients so (fee-based models), that's not in the best interest of the client at all.”
Trump easily carried Tennessee on Tuesday as he swept to victory with more than 61 percent of the vote in that state, which delivered 11 electoral votes.
By 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Trump had amassed 276 electoral votes compared with 228 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton, even as some polls were predicting Clinton the eventual winner of the popular vote.
“The polls are wrong again,” said John Eckel, a financial advisor with Pinnacle Investment Management in Simsbury, Conn. “We got it wrong with Brexit and now we got it wrong with our presidential election.”
After exiting his polling station Tuesday, Eckel said “I rendered my voice.”
“All I can say is “Wow,’ “ said disability insurance agent Larry Schneider in Buford, S.C. “The guy started as a loose cannon ball.”
But, Schneider added: “I’m not super surprised, but by the same token and in the same breath, I was amazed. It could have easily gone either way.”
Schneider also pointed to Trump’s “incredible” showing in the electoral vote results, and that Trump “rose to the occasion” with his acceptance speech.
Trump early Tuesday morning vowed to unite the country after leading the most divisive and nasty campaign that anyone could recall.
Not that Trump is familiar with disability income insurance. “I don’t think he knows the word,” said Schneider. Trump carried South Carolina by a wide margin with more than 56 percent of the vote.
In California, which Clinton won with 61 percent of voters, long-term-care insurance expert Steve M. Cain, principal and national sales leader of LTCI Partners, said he was “incredibly surprised” by Trump’s victory.
“I hope we come together as a country, we’re so polarized that I really hope he exhibits the leadership to bring the country together,” said
Life and long-term care insurers should do well by Trump once the reality of the stunning election upset begins to sink in and the brash mogul begins to pick his Cabinet.
With the monetary policy favored by Trump, it’s likely that over time interest rates will go up and the insurance companies with long-tail products will be the beneficiary, he said.
Cain said he had a conversation with a good friend of mine on Tuesday who works as a financial advisor with an independent broker-dealer that that a Hillary Clinton victory was assured and that many brokers would be heading out the door in the wake of the fiduciary rule.
Now, who knows what’s going to happen.
Though Trump’s website says little about LTC, there is vague mention of giving more resources to caregivers, but coming from the private sector, “intuitively you’d think” Trump would promote the prospects of the private market to fund long-term care.
“On his website, he did promote HSAs and HSAs currently provide tax efficient way to fund long-term care,” Cain said.
Everything in insurance, however, will take a back seat to Trump’s promise to replace the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health insurance reform.
“So what do we do now as a (long-term care insurance) industry, is we keep doing what we’re doing. We keep grinding,” Cain said. “Make sure you keep having conversation with clients.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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