“As advisors shift to alternative asset classes in an effort to offset the fluctuating market, product providers must follow suit,” said Chris Rosato, senior vice president of strategic development for Curian. “The survey shows that advisors are seeking ways to manage risk and address volatility in their clients’ portfolios, and are increasingly moving toward solutions that allow for lower correlated assets and better diversification. We are finding that there is a growing movement to reproduce the success of the endowment model, as advisors are looking for ways to leverage those institutional benefits for their retail clients.”Platforms and Education An overwhelming majority (76 percent) of respondents say that the quality of a solution provider’s online resources has an impact on use of their products, preferring more sophisticated and high-quality online platforms. To meet this need, product providers must continue to develop effective digital platforms and resources that assist advisors in improving efficiencies and managing the asset allocation process. The survey also found that the majority of advisors (69 percent) say they rely on financial services companies for information on investing strategies, while only 5 percent of advisors depend on social media. “This survey shows that the quality of online capabilities, technology resources and educational components are paramount in advisors’ adoption of products,” said Rosato. “Providers have a responsibility to develop systems that are accessible and user-friendly. This type of support will only become more critical as the array of investment options become more diverse and complex across the industry.” Practice Management Advisor goals for practice management are largely consistent with past years’ surveys. When asked about their challenges for 2012, 77 percent of respondents said that acquiring more affluent clients was a major goal; more than half of respondents also selected improving efficiency and marketing their business as objectives for this year.
“Advisors are challenged to not only manage their clients’ portfolios, but also achieve success as business owners,” said Mark Schoenbeck, senior vice president of marketing for Curian. “While the economic crisis continues to play a major role in how advisors choose investments, it’s imperative that they are not only given access to the right products, but that they are supported with comprehensive education and guidance tools to help them achieve higher productivity and efficiency.”Curian distributed its 2012 Advisor Outlook Survey to independent advisors appointed to sell Curian products via email in November 2011. Results were collected via Zoomerang, and 153 firms are represented among the 1,009 respondents. To request a copy of the executive summary, please contact Melissa Hernandez at (303) 224-7572 or firstname.lastname@example.org. About Curian Capital Curian Capital, LLC ( www.Curian.com) is a registered investment advisor providing innovative fee-based separately managed accounts to financial professionals through a state-of-the-art technology platform. The company had $7.3 billion in assets under management as of 12/31/11. Curian Capital is an indirect subsidiary of Prudential plc (NYSE: PUK), a company incorporated and with its principal place of business in the United Kingdom. Prudential plc and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial service groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. It has been in existence for more than 160 years and had more than $545 billion in assets under management as of 12/31/11. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc., a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America. Curian Capital, LLC acts as the Registered Investment Advisor for Curian Custom Style Portfolios. Curian Clearing LLC (member FINRA/SIPC) is the exclusive broker for these programs, for which it provides brokerage execution, processing and custody services. Investing in securities involves certain risks, including possible loss of principal.