Two-thirds of advisers forced to look beyond traditional equity income: survey

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Two-thirds of advisers forced to look beyond traditional equity income: survey

Adviser research published today by Seneca Investment Managers reveals that two out of three advisers have been forced to consider alternative solutions to offset falls in revenue.

During and following the lockdown, two in three (63%) of advisers surveyed were forced to consider alternative solutions and greater diversification, further afield from equities, using alternatives and real assets as a means of generating income for clients.

Navigating the alternative investment landscape can be complex, and this is reflected among those advisers who felt more challenged to deliver investors income requirements (7.5%) with a lack of knowledge (87%) and a shortage of research capability (13%) being cited as the biggest barriers.

It’s a challenging world out there, and alternative investments can pose unnecessary risks to clients."

Additionally, 63% of advisers said they have seen clients take what could be considered a bearish approach with their portfolios. They reported 27% of clients withdraw, 5% withdraw considerably and 31% not add to their funds during and following the first lockdown this year. In contrast, the survey found 37% of advisers saw their clients add to their funds.

Despite the recent investment market challenges, just 14% of advisers saw the lion's share of their clients willing to reduce their withdrawal rate. 

Yet against this backdrop of consistent income expectations amid a declining quoted market income pool, a resounding 93% of advisers either believe they are well placed (47%), or open to new means (46%) to approach solving the income challenge for clients in the face of widespread dividend cuts and cancellations. This looks beyond traditional equity ‘sources' to solve an income challenge.

Steve Hunter, head of Business Development at Seneca Investment Managers, comments: "It's a challenging world out there, and alternative investments can pose unnecessary risks to clients' return objectives if investments are not well understood and allocations not managed appropriately."

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.