Even in this tumultuous market, opportunities are everywhere for brokers who recognize them, according to speakers at the SIA's second annual Financial Adviser conference, being held today and Saturday at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach, Fla.
"Many investors with financial advisers will be in play because of performance this year," said Friday morning speaker Robert Sabelhaus, director of Legg Mason's private client group. Sabelhaus called 2001 a "watershed year" for brokers, as dissatisfied investors who have been neglected by their brokers and do-it-yourselfers who have been burned look for alternatives. This year is a great time to ask for referrals, he said.
In fact, roughly 40% of all online investors will be searching for some kind of personal advice over the next six months, said speaker Nancy Salk, research director for J.D. Power & Associates. Besides information and education about investing, these investors will be looking for brokers and firms with strong financial planning services, she said. Salk presented the results of research conducted by her firm that shows investors who are simply aware of a brokerage firm's financial planning services are more satisfied with that firm than clients who don't know about the firm's planning services. She suggested that brokers concentrate on the wealth being created by Generation Xers, who are underserved by brokers.
Ralph Acampora, chief technical analyst at Prudential Securities, was also upbeat about the condition of the markets, saying that the NYSE advance/decline line has begun an upswing in recent months, even as the Nasdaq continues to stumble. He called this dichotomy a "stealth Bull Market," that few people recognize today because it is occurring in old economy stocks. Acampora mentioned companies like Philip Morris, CSX Corp. and American Standard as old economy stocks contributing to the upswing. But nobody wants to buy them because they're not sexy, he says.
"Can you imagine recommending a steel stock?" he laughed. Responding to a question from a member of the audience about investment opportunities overseas, Acampora quipped: "Stay home."
For more information about the SIA's Financial Conference, including handouts from speakers, see the SIA's Web site at www.SIA.com. --RR Senior Editor Michael Hayes in Miami
Editor's note: For any comments regarding this article, or to suggest a story idea for RR Online or Registered Representative magazine, contact Editor in Chief Dan Jamieson at [email protected], Online Editor Rick Weinberg at [email protected], Online Managing Editor Cheryl Cooper at [email protected] or Senior Editor Michael Hayes at [email protected]