14:41 PM

Washington Politics Rated One of Top Three Trends That Will Impact Advisors' and Investors' Approach to Investing in 2017

Louisville, KY – As lawmakers continue to dominate the headlines, Washington politics is rated among the top three trends that will impact both financial advisors’ and individual investors’ approach to investing in 2017, according to the third annual Advisor Authority study conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by Jefferson National, now operating as Nationwide’s advisory solutions business. Advisors and investors are more likely than last year to believe that gridlock in Washington will adversely impact portfolios in the coming 12 months, and taxes continue to remain top of mind, according to this recent online survey of roughly 1,600 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), fee-based advisors and individual investors nationwide.

“Advisors and investors see political risks on the rise, and gridlock in Washington is the ‘new volatility,’ impacting the health of their portfolios, at the same time that it impacts everything from trade to regulations, healthcare and tax reform,” said Mitchell H. Caplan, leader of Nationwide’s advisory solutions business. “These days, politics are anything but usual, creating tremendous complexity—but also creating tremendous opportunities for expert financial advisors to create greater value. By putting clients’ best interest first with holistic advice, advisors can help manage the uncertain—and the unprecedented.”

Washington Impacts Investing

When asked to select the top three trends that will impact their approach to investing in 2017, RIAs and fee-based advisors are squarely focused on D.C., rating US Fed Policy first (32%) and regulatory changes second (29%), while Washington politics came in at a close third (28%). In last year’s study, RIAs and fee-based advisors cited ongoing volatility first at 34%, while this year volatility declined significantly to just 23%.

Meanwhile, individual investors also shared many of the same concerns about lawmakers’ impact on their approach to investing, rating Washington politics first (33%), US Fed Policy second (29%), while changes to tax code and domestic economic performance tied for third (24%).

Rising Concerns about Gridlock

When asked to select the top macro issue that will adversely impact their clients’ portfolio, RIAs and fee-based advisors rated global instability first (20%) and rising interest rates second (19%). Ongoing volatility declined significantly from the number one spot at 22% in 2016, to the number three spot at 16% in 2017. Gridlock in Washington spiked to the number four spot at 14% in 2017, from just 6% in 2016.

Meanwhile, when asked to select the top macro issue that will adversely impact their portfolio, individual investors said gridlock in Washington was first at 21%, a significant spike from just 9% in 2016. Global instability (21%) tied with gridlock for the number one issue, while taxes held steady year over year as the number two issue (17% in 2017 vs. 16% in 2016).

Tax reform is also top of mind for both advisors and investors, with advisors particularly optimistic about the impact on their clients. The vast majority of RIAs and fee-based advisors (85%) indicated that they believe the majority of their clients will benefit from the new administration’s proposed tax reform, while two thirds of individual investors (66%) believe that they will benefit.

The third annual Advisor Authority study explores the investing and advising issues confronting RIAs, fee-based advisors and investors—and the innovative techniques that they need to succeed in today’s volatile market. It features a special focus on the most successful advisors and the most affluent investors. These initial findings are to be followed by a series of reports that will be released from June through year-end.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.