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What Advisors Are Getting Clients for the Holidays This Year

A new survey by SmartAsset reveals that the most popular gift advisors plan to give clients this year is food or festive baskets, although many plan to opt for more personalized holiday gifts.

About half of financial advisors (48%) plan on sending holiday gifts to their clients this year, with the most popular gifts being food or festive baskets. More than half of advisors said that would be their top choice to send to clients, according to a new survey by SmartAsset.

SmartAsset surveyed 192 financial advisors between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14, 2020, asking about their plans to send holiday gifts to clients, and spending plans on those gifts. About one-fifth of advisors didn’t know yet whether they would send a gift, while the remaining 31% said they would not send gifts to clients.

Financial advisor gifts chart

Behind gift baskets, wine and spirits were the second-most popular choice for gifts to send clients, at 14%, followed by gift certificates (at roughly 8%) and charitable donations on behalf of clients (at roughly 6%). In the “other” category, many advisors wrote in that they would send customized or personalized gifts to clients, such as personalized calendars or monogrammed blankets.

“Within the financial advisory and planning industry, these gifts often foster stronger advisor-client relationships,” SmartAsset said. “They serve as tokens of appreciation for clients’ continued trust and confidence in their investment strategies and decisions.”

Four in five advisors indicated that they plan to spend the same amount on holiday gifts this year as last year, with about 16% saying they’ll spend more and 4% saying they’ll spend less. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says financial advisors aren’t allowed to spend more than $100 per client on gifts per year, although there are some exceptions, and the vast majority of respondents (94%) expect to spend less than that this year. In fact, 65% expect to spend less than $50 per client.  

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