BERWYN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Brinker Capital, a leading investment management firm, today released the results of its first quarter 2012 Brinker Barometer, a gauge of financial advisor confidence and sentiment regarding the economy, investing, and market performance. Respondents were asked to reflect on key financial issues related to 2012, and to share their thoughts on the impending presidential election.
The study was conducted online by Brinker Capital in May 2012 and was responded to by 442 financial advisors.
“For the past several quarters, the upcoming presidential election has been the primary focus of our respondents, with the majority indicating that a change in administration is the best route to establishing a firm economic foundation for the U.S.,” said John Coyne, President of Brinker Capital. “Turning to their own clients, most advisors report a ‘holding pattern,’ evidencing little change in optimism from Q4 2011.”
White House Worries
The Q1 Brinker Barometer delved deeply into advisors’ concerns and aspirations for the upcoming election. Some of the response highlights follow below.
As noted earlier, four more years of an Obama Administration ranks chief among advisors’ fears, with 70% of respondents selecting this as their primary election day concern, an uptick of 14 percentage points over the same response in Q4 2011. In far distant second place: “a divided congress” (18%), followed by “Mitt Romney in the White House” (5%), and a “growing Tea Party influence” (4%).
On the subject of Mitt Romney’s running mate, respondents were vocal, yet somewhat divided in their choices. Despite recent press reports that he’s not being vetted for a spot on the vice presidential ticket, Senator Marco Rubio was the number one pick, favored by 36% of respondents. In second place was Gov. Chris Christie (18%), followed by Gov. Jeb Bush (11%), and Senator Rob Portman.
John McCain’s praise for selecting a female vice presidential candidate notwithstanding, advisors are confident that if Gov. Romney doesn’t have a female candidate on his ticket, it won’t be an election day impediment. Fully 63% of respondents said it wouldn’t hurt Romney’s chances. Just 11% indicated it would.
The one million new jobs added in the U.S. over the past six months may be a job saver for the president himself. Some 63% of respondents said that a lower unemployment rate would help the administration stay in office, with 40% indicating it would be of no help at all.
Little has changed with regard to advisors opinions as to who will claim the White House. Ninety-six percent of respondents said the candidate with the most effective plan to fix the economy would be the likely winner, followed by just four percent who believe fixing the healthcare system is the best route to Pennsylvania Avenue.
Beyond the Election
Asked to pick the most important world event of 2011, the majority of advisors (72%) picked the fiscal and debt situation in Europe, followed distantly by the earthquake/tsunami in Japan (9%), the Arab Spring (7%), and Osama Bin Laden’s killing (5%).
Advisors are almost even divided on the subject of how well their clients are faring financially compared to this time last year, with 51% saying “better” and 46% noting “the same.” Results were fairly similar for market performance, with 47% saying that it performed “in line” with their expectations at this time last year and 43 noting it was “better.” Just 11% said it was “worse.”
For a copy of the full study, contact Andrew Healy.
About the Study
The Brinker Barometer was conducted online by Brinker Capital in May 2012. Results are based on responses from 442 advisors affiliated with insurance companies, independent broker-dealers and in sole practice. The study’s copyright is held by Brinker Capital.
About Brinker Capital
Brinker Capital, Inc. is a leading independent investment management firm which provides managed account investment programs to individual and institutional investors through financial advisors. Brinker Capital was founded in 1987 by Charles Widger and is located in suburban Philadelphia. Visit Brinker Capital’s website at www.brinkercapital.com.