COVID-19 Can't Dim Advisors' Outlook for a Brighter Tomorrow, TD Ameritrade Institutional Survey Finds
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) are hopeful for the better days that lie ahead. According to findings from a new survey conducted for TD Ameritrade Institutional, advisors remain bullish on the future of the economy, the market and their businesses, and in the near-term, they’re focused on helping clients navigate uncertain times.
Though they have a more somber outlook for the end of this year, more than 60 percent independent RIAs participating in the TD Ameritrade Institutional’s 2020 RIA Sentiment Survey Mid-Year Update are optimistic about the prospects for the U.S. and global economy in 2021. A quarter believe that stocks will increase by year-end, whereas 62 percent have a bullish stock market outlook for 2021.
As we head into the second half of a year that has already dealt investors significant challenges, RIAs are paying close attention to headlines on the U.S. economy, the presidential election and corporate earnings for their impact on client portfolios. Consistent with their expectations heading into 2020, they believe the Information Technology, Health Care and Financial Sectors will outperform this year.
“The saying, ’Keep calm and carry on’ has served advisors well during these unprecedented times, as they help their clients – and themselves – make sense of, and adapt to, current events that are impacting their long-term goals,” said Vanessa Oligino, managing director of business performance solutions for TD Ameritrade Institutional, a provider of brokerage and custody services to more than 7,000 RIAs. “The results show that investors want financial guidance they can trust, which is why RIAs are growing even as they are having to pivot rapidly and in some cases, rethink large portions of their operations.”
Fifty-eight percent of RIAs have continued to onboard new clients during the coronavirus pandemic, with client bases increasing nearly 6 percent during this time. Forty-three percent report AUM increases of 8 percent on average, and forty percent of RIAs have seen revenues increase at a similar rate.
RIAs are Back in the Office, but It Looks Different
As the number of positive coronavirus cases rises across the country, RIAs remain undeterred when it comes to taking care of their clients – though it is not back to “business as usual” for most firms.
More than 60 percent of RIAs are already back in the office, but COVID-19 concerns and precautionary measures have changed what this looks like for many. Thirty-six percent of firms are juggling split in-office and remote work schedules to allow for social distancing, and 28 percent are providing staff with PPE.