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INVESTING SENTIMENT
INSIGHTS
The findings from our most recent Investing Sentiment Insight Survey
reveal a tremendous opportunity for advisors to educate investors across generations. Most significant was a striking, persistent knowledge gap that could prevent clients from reaching their long-term financial goals.
INVESTING ATTITUDES
SEE THE RESULTS >
INVESTING SENTIMENT OVERVIEW
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

Short-term concerns are consuming today's investors - so much so that they're losing sight of their long-term goals and becoming distracted from sound investment choices. Advisors are in a position to help investors look past the things that are out of their control by arming them with clear strategies that may help them stay focused on the bigger picture.

  • PUBLIC POLICY CONCERNS
  • ECONOMIC CONCERNS
  • GLOBALIZATION CONCERNS
Of the three "buckets of worry" public policy type concerns ranked highest on the worry-o-meter with rising health care costs and legislative gridlock tipping the top of the scale.
Another area of concern was related to economics, from high unemployment to weak real estate values.
Interestingly, concerns categorized under "globalization" - loss of US competitiveness, a weak US economy and global political instability - came down significantly (10-20%) over the past two years of surveys.

Most respondents who own passive investments were unable to accurately define those investments. It seems they are choosing active and passive investments for many of the same reasons - consistent performance, diversification and low cost - believing the two provide many of the same perceived benefits.

More surprising, the new "long term" is less than seven years - at least for Millennial investors, who also continue to hold larger-than-expected cash allocations and fewer equities than older generations, trading growth potential for perceived safety.

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Most clients have not had the family wealth conversation with their advisors. Considering that investor assets are not only known to leave an advisor's practice when passed on to heirs but disappear altogether by the end of the second generation1, it's critical that you create a relationship with the entire family and be the facilitator of these conversations.

1Indeed, Research March 8, 2013

It appears there are myths circulating about retirement that could jeopardize your clients' ability to reach their long-term goals. Starting with the belief that they'll work well into retirement (only 27% keep trudging past 65) to believing that Social Security will be a major source of income (unlikely).

MFS, through Research Collaborative, an independent research firm, sponsored an online survey in November 2013 of 958 individual investors with $100,000 or more in household investable assets. All investor respondents make or share in financial decisions for their households. MFS was not identified as the sponsor of the survey. Gen Y refers to investor respondents under the age of 34. Gen X refers to investor respondents between the ages of 34 and 48. Boomers refers to investor respondents between the ages of 49 and 67. Matures refers to investor respondents over the age of 68.
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