With stocks continuing to hover around record territory, a significant number of investors remain bullish on the second half of 2014, according to the latest client sentiment findings from Charles Schwab, one of the largest full-service investment services firms with more than $2.4 trillion in client assets.
Confidence is particularly strong among clients who receive professional advice. The survey shows that roughly 75 percent feel most confident when they have at least periodic advice from a professional, compared to just 20 percent who prefer to fly solo and four percent who favor completely delegating financial decisions. Prezeau noted that many Schwab clients who receive professional advice prefer to remain engaged in the investing process.“We’re seeing more demand from clients for professional advice, particularly in our branches, and we’re growing and evolving our wealth management services and capabilities to meet those needs,” said Prezeau. “Year-to-date, Schwab has delivered financial plans to nearly 60,000 clients, up more than 20 percent from the first half of 2013. In addition, Schwab’s suite of advisory programs, which provides clients with ongoing investment guidance and portfolio solutions, has $175 billion in total assets under management, up nearly 30 percent year-over-year.” Global Political Instability Overtakes U.S. Stock Market Volatility Concerns Schwab’s Q2 Investor Sentiment Survey, which polled more than 1,000 retail clients between June 6 and June 23, 2014, shows that for the remainder of the year, the top concern among investors is global political instability (27 percent). That’s a shift from the first half of the year – just nine percent of investors say that global instability had the greatest impact on their investing strategy during that period. U.S. stock market volatility had the biggest impact on investors’ investment strategy. The U.S. unemployment rate (six percent) and housing market (four percent) are not significant concerns for the rest of the year, according to the investors surveyed. Over the past three months, additional actions taken by surveyed Schwab clients include:
- 26 percent rebalanced their portfolio
- 16 percent moved money into cash (down six percentage points from the end of 2013)
- 8 percent moved money into fixed income
- 7 percent moved money to the sidelines
- Three percent moved into gold and other commodities