What Financial Advisors Say Investors Ask

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It’s a scary time to have money in the stock market – more so than usual. And that’s reflected in the questions Americans ask their financial advisors.

The 2022 Investing Trends Survey from the Journal of Financial Planning and the Financial Planning Association provides an overview of common concerns raised by those working with financial planners. Over 400 planners who provide investment advice responded to the survey, and the data was collected in February and March 2022.

Here’s a rundown of top investor concerns, according to financial advisors.

1. Effects of inflation

Inflation and deflation
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 66%

Unsurprisingly, the main recent concern for investors has been the rate of inflation, which has driven the cost of some things to their highest level in 40 years.

Inflation, however, affects more than your budget. It’s often bad news for the stock market when something unusual happens. As we explain in “12 Tips for Surviving a Volatile Stock Market,” Wall Street hates uncertainty.

2. Effects of volatility

Interest rate rising falling
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 54%

Speaking of uncertainty, the second most common concern investors have is the effect of volatility on a portfolio. When the market gets erratic, it can be hard to tell what you should do about it, especially if your own emotions are running high.

At times like this, it might be wise to turn to the advice of one of the most successful investors of all time – Warren Buffett.

3. The pandemic

Doctor and patient both wearing masks
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 47%

Although the pandemic is slowly diminishing as a financial problem, it certainly has not gone away and its effects will likely be felt for years. In many ways, COVID-19 has changed the way we think about money.

4. Cryptocurrency investments

Bitcoin
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 47%

Cryptocurrency and “meme stocks” like GameStop had a great time in 2021. Now those ultra-speculative investments are having another time — and not a good one.

Bitcoin and Ether, two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, lost more than 35% of their value in a single week in June, according to CNBC.

5. Tax reform

man doing his taxes
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 43%

Changes in tax laws continue to concern investors. This is understandable as they could have a dramatic effect on your retirement plans.

President Joe Biden’s tax proposals last year were a signal for “9 groups that should prepare for higher income taxes.”

6. The SECURE law

Older man can't sleep due to retirement stress
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 32%

The Establishing Every Community for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, more often referred to as the SECURE Act, made significant changes to the rules around retirement accounts, including when retirees must begin withdrawing from the money.

As we recently reported, even two years later, some financial advisors are caught off guard by the way the law is being implemented. Naturally, investors themselves are also confused.

7. Socially Responsible Investing (ESG)

A tree symbolizing investment growth
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 31%

A growing trend in investing is “environmental, social and governance investing”. Known as ESG, it’s the idea that you can pour money into big companies while trusting them not to take shortcuts that increase profits and harm people or the planet. . Over $17 trillion was invested in ESG-focused funds in 2020.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson hosted a podcast discussing whether ESG is positive change or just hype marketing.

8. Fees

Angry woman using laptop
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 19%

At a time when investors are especially sensitive to rising costs, it’s no wonder so many people ask their financial advisors about fees.

If you think you’re paying too much for your investment advice, stop by Money Talks News Solutions Center and find out how to find the perfect financial advisor.

9. Weed stocks

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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 17%

Although not as hot a topic as cryptocurrency, many people see the growing legalization of the nascent cannabis industry as an investment opportunity. States also see it as an opportunity for tax revenue.

10. Direct indexing

Man looking at stock charts and worrying about recession
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Financial advisors with clients who have inquired about it: 6%

Direct indexing is basically the idea that a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund can be a do-it-yourself project. In other words, some investors think they can match or beat the performance of popular index funds by buying stocks individually.

“Having to buy a relatively large number of individual stocks that make up an index, in the percentage necessary to replicate its performance, has traditionally prevented most investors from using this strategy,” says Fidelity. Fractional shares – allowing you to buy a small portion of a popular and expensive stock – and commission-free trading have made things easier.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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