Advisors: Our Clients Are Feeling Bullish

It may not be as exciting and thrilling as the running of the bulls, but the recent rumbling of the bulls on Wall Street has created it's own thrills.

It may not be as exciting and thrilling as the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but the recent rumbling of the bulls on Wall Street has created a thrill in its own right for investment advisors. A recent survey of independent advisors conducted by Schwab Institutional, a division of Charles Schwab & Co., showed a majority feels investment conditions are improving. The survey, which polled 174 investment advisors affiliated with Schwab, asked participants questions about the economy, investor confidence and future expectations. Speaking about the economy, 68.3 percent felt conditions are improving, with 25.9 percent saying conditions were "holding steady." "Things are looking better than they were before," says Timothy Welsh, a director of marketing at Schwab. "The last several years have seen terrible, terrible results in the market and now people are looking much more optimistic." In fact, the survey shows 81 percent of advisors polled believe their clients will have a positive market outlook in the next five years. Fifty-nine percent see a positive market outlook for their clients within the next six months. The stock market has turned itself around in 2003 after about three straight years of subpar returns; all three major indices are near the top of their respective 52-week ranges. Advisors would celebrate such an outcome. In an almost unanimous agreement, 93 percent of the advisors polled felt that economic upturn would "increase the likelihood of their clients increasing their investment activity." Other factors cited as likely to provide positive momentum for client activity were international political stability and positive opinions from investment gurus (Bill Miller of Legg Mason, for example).

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