Econintersect: Brinker Capital Inc. conducts a survey of investment advisers every quarter. In the latest survey the questions focused on the effects of national politics on the economic conditions the advisers see impacting their clients. It may not be a surprise that the advisers’ opinions weigh heavily against President Obama. After all their biggest clients will be dominated by the most wealthy and the president has started his 2012 campaign with a return to his 2008 theme: increase taxes at the highest levels of income in order to maintain or reduce the tax burden on the “middle class”, which group is probably less represented in the high priorities of many investment advisers.
Brinker president John Coyne said, “Financial advisers are an incredible proxy for investors. “They continue to see doom and gloom, and their big anxiety right now is four more years of the current president.” (Quote from Investment News article.)
Here are some of the results reported in the poll of 427 advisers in articles posted by LinkedFA and Investment News:
- 56% listed a second term for the president is their biggest fear for the 2012 election
- 92% said that if they wanted their favorite candidate to focus on one issue: improve the economy through job growth
- Better than 50% said they want a business person in the White House
- 32% favor Mitt Romney for president
- More than 50% want less regulation
- 32% expected markets to perform better in 2012 than during Obama’s first three years – this is down from 62% in April
- 64% said their clients were better off today than they were when Obama came into office
- Biggest disappointment with the current administration:
- Lack of job creation: 46%
- Inability to reduce the deficit: 33%
- Inability to cooperate with Congress: Only 12%
- The remaining 9% was not identified
- Biggest achievements of the current administration:
- Killing Osama bin Laden: 81%
- Economic stimulus: 7%
- Healthcare: 7%
- The remaining 5% was not identified
- Most responsible for stifling economic growth:
- Obama administration: 34%
- Partisan politics: 24%
- Government over-regulation: 17%
- The remaining 25% was not identified
Editor’s notes: The most astounding thing that for this editor is that 5% or less listed as an accomplishment of the current administration the saving of the financial system and preserving the personal wealth of the richest at the expense of the middle and lower classes. After all, 64% felt their clients were better off than when Obama took office. They must feel that their clients achieved these results because of their superior acumen in the face of a challenging environment. This editor, who is an investment adviser who did not participate in the survey, suggests this is plainly delusional and denial of truth. But this editor serves clients who are well embedded in the 99%, so what can he know. His clients are not counted among the ruling elite.
The other factor that is interesting is that nearly 1/3 of advisers expect the markets to do better in 2012 than for the first three years of the Obama administration. The S&P 500 closed at 805.22 on inauguration day, January 20, 2001. If the market closes at year end at today’s close of 1244.28, the gain for the first “three years” of Obama is 54.5% without dividends, or a compound average annual return about 18% including dividends. And six months ago almost 2/3 of advisers expected this result to be exceeded. This expectation is far above the average annual returns for most four year time periods in American history except for times such as the late 1990s and recovery periods during the Great Depression. Such expectations and animosity toward an administration that exists during such an extraordinary period of market performance is baffling. This editor concludes too many of these advisors are lackeys to political ideology and oblivious to reality.
One case in which the survey results did connect with reality: These advisers (92%) did recognize that unemployment is the key economic problem the nation faces.
Go to Investment News to read what the readers there left for comments.