State Street Global Advisors Survey: US Investors Remain Confident in Their Advisors' Ability to Navigate Market Volatility Despite Lingering Concerns About Investment Prospects for 2023

  • 81% of US investors working with a financial advisor indicate their financial advisor has helped them remain confident in this period of rising inflation and market volatility.
  • 83% indicate their financial advisor has informed them how market volatility will affect their long-term financial goals.
  • With volatility in the market, 57% of US investors plan to keep their money “as is” and stick to their long-term strategy.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) think the volatility in the stock market is going to continue for at least the next 12 months.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) are worried about inflation.

BOSTON--()--State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), today released the results of its ETF Impact Survey: Advisor Edition which found an overwhelming majority of investors who work with an advisor remain confident in their insight and guidance, even as 2022 closed with lingering concerns over inflation and the potential for continued market volatility.

The percentage of US investors indicating they value their financial advisors’ knowledge and guidance even more during uncertain times held steady at 89% compared to June 2022, when it was 91%; 81% indicate their financial advisor has helped them remain confident in this period of rising inflation and market volatility, compared to 86% in June.

“Helping clients remain confident and committed during times of volatility can be a challenge for advisors whose clients may have a kneejerk reaction to abandon their investment strategy if markets get choppy,” said Brie Williams, head of Practice Management at State Street Global Advisors. “Our survey found 86% of investors have discussed market volatility with their financial advisor and 83% say their advisor has informed them of how volatility will affect their long-term financial goals.”

It seems investors are getting the message about sticking to their long-term investment strategy. The survey found even with volatility in the market, 57% of US investors plan to keep their money ‘as is’ and stick to their long-term strategy.

Furthermore, 17% plan to leave their money as is, but opportunistically invest more if market conditions permit, while 18% indicate they will move money to other investments to reduce the risk of loss. A mere 8% plan to retreat to cash to avoid potential loss.

Top Financial Concerns Among US Investors

The survey found 71% of US investors are “optimistic” or “very optimistic” about their own financial future over the next 12 months. While this number may seem high, it is significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels when it was 88% toward the end of 2019, at the close of a decade-long bull market.

Today, nearly three-quarters (74%) of investors are worried about inflation. Although inflation concerns have waned slightly since June (76%), they’re still relatively high when compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 71%.

Since last June, general concern over market volatility has declined 11 percentage points to 46%. Still, the percentage of those concerned about the value of their actual investments eroding has held steady since June, when it was at 59% compared to 56% today.

Taking a look at concerns over long-term saving goals like retirement reveal a slightly different story. Worry over retirement is seeing an uptick, with 52% indicating concern about saving enough for retirement versus 45% in June. Similarly, 50% fear running out of money in retirement versus 46% in June.

ETF Investor Perception

January 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of the first ever US-listed exchange traded fund (ETF), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY). Launched on January 22, 1993, SPY is the world’s largest ETF with more than $355 billion in assets and the most heavily traded security in the world with an average daily trading volume of $39 billion.

Overall, perception of the benefits ETFs have brought to investors has been overwhelmingly positive. The survey found that 59% of US investors with an existing ETF holding report that ETFs have improved the overall performance of their portfolio. Furthermore, more than half (53%) of US investors believe ETFs have made them a better investor.

“Advisor adoption of ETFs has provided investors with cost-effective access to institutional-grade solutions,” said Williams. “The flexibility to buy and sell shares quickly, easily, and cost-efficiently is important to advisors and their clients in all markets.”

In 2022, 65% of advisors recommend using ETFs in their portfolios, and 41% of advisors are looking to increase their usage of ETFs in the next twelve months.

“Investors continue to turn to ETFs for their inherent liquidity benefits,” said Colin Ireland, head of ETF Execution Strategy at State Street Global Advisors “These benefits often become most pronounced in times of volatility – when investors need it most. Among SPY’s many milestones: in 2020 it became the first ETF to trade more than $100 billion in a single session amidst the COVID-19 induced volatility.”

ETF use cases in the advisory market have expanded significantly in the three decades since SPY’s launch, and continue to evolve beyond just asset allocation and diversification planning. A number of wealth management firms use ETFs to package their investment beliefs into outcome-oriented products for their clients. ETFs have also been used to create model portfolios that give advisors the ability to outsource the investment component so that they can focus more attention on client outcomes.

Additional Resources

For more on State Street Global Advisors’ point of view on how advisors can help clients remain confident during uncertain times, read Market Volatility: A Relationship-Building Opportunity for Financial Advisors.

Appreciating the True Value of Advice offers insights for individual investors on how to find the right financial advisor.

2022 Trends in Investing Survey,” Journal of Financial Planning and FPA, Accessed December 13, 2022

About State Street Global Advisors ETF Impact Survey, November - December 2022

State Street Global Advisors, in partnership with A2Bplanning and Prodege, conducted an online survey among individual investors in the US, EMEA (UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Israel) and APAC (Singapore, Japan, Australia). Data was collected from November 30 – December 12, 2022. In the US, data was collected from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults 18+, and then filtered for analysis among 287 Individual Investors with investable assets of $250,000 or more. About half of those are currently working with a financial advisor.

About SPDR Exchange Traded Funds

SPDR ETFs are a comprehensive family spanning an array of international and domestic asset classes. The funds provide investors with the flexibility to select investments that are aligned to their investment strategy. For more information, visit

About State Street Global Advisors

For four decades, State Street Global Advisors has served the world’s governments, institutions and financial advisors. With a rigorous, risk-aware approach built on research, analysis and market-tested experience, we build from a breadth of index and active strategies to create cost-effective solutions. And, as pioneers in index, ETF, and ESG investing, we are always inventing new ways to invest. As a result, we have become the world’s fourth-largest asset manager* with US $3.48 trillion under our care.

*Pensions & Investments Research Center, as of 12/31/21.
This figure is presented as of December 31, 2022 and includes approximately $58.60 billion USD of assets with respect to SPDR products for which State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC (SSGA FD) acts solely as the marketing agent. SSGA FD and State Street Global Advisors are affiliated. Please note all AUM is unaudited.

Important Risk Disclosures

The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor's particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon.

The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSGA’s express written consent.

Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss of principal.

ETFs trade like stocks, are subject to investment risk, fluctuate in market value and may trade at prices above or below the ETFs net asset value. Brokerage commissions and ETF expenses will reduce returns.

While the shares of ETFs are tradable on secondary markets, they may not readily trade in all market conditions and may trade at significant discounts in periods of market stress.

Equity securities may fluctuate in value and can decline significantly in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions.

Frequent trading of ETFs could significantly increase commissions and other costs such that they may offset any savings from low fees or costs.

Passively managed funds hold a range of securities that, in the aggregate, approximates the full Index in terms of key risk factors and other characteristics. This may cause the fund to experience tracking errors relative to performance of the index.

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Distributor: State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation. References to State Street may include State Street Corporation and its affiliates. Certain State Street affiliates provide services and receive fees from the SPDR ETFs. ALPS Distributors, Inc., member FINRA, is the distributor for DIA, MDY and SPY, all unit investment trusts. ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc., member FINRA, is the distributor for Select Sector SPDRs. ALPS Distributors, Inc. and ALPS Portfolio Solutions Distributor, Inc. are not affiliated with State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC.

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5400906.1.1.AM.RTL Exp. Date: 12/31/2023 SPD002961


Deborah Heindel
+1 617 662 9927


Deborah Heindel
+1 617 662 9927