Advisors must find client stress points

By Staff | December 17, 2009 | Last updated on December 17, 2009
2 min read

Where do clients feel the financial pinch? Our 2009 Dollars & Sense roundtable participants had these comments:

Doug Gleed: The usual stresses are still there with debt, such as the mortgage and credit that have been there for awhile.

James Taylor: They’re thinking about how economic changes might impact them if there are changes in their employment or in the household. A lot of people are questioning where they are, because debt may have risen over the last couple of years and they need cash flow.

Eva Froese: Employment stress is very real here in Calgary. They are also more concerned about their long-term plans, and whether they will be able to afford the retirement lifestyle they had envisioned.

Rob Kochel: Proximity to retirement tends to bring stress levels up. What has been a surprise is the desire among people to work a little bit longer. The reality is hitting them in the face like cold water, they seem to be adapting to it and moving forward.

Kathleen Peace: People are a lot less concerned this fall as opposed to last fall as they see things coming back. The concern is always, ‘How much will I have when I retire?’and ‘How are my government benefits going to fit in with everything?’ I also have clients in the accumulation phase who are very worried about the cost of post-secondary education. That’s been a focus more than usual.

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What financial issues appear to be causing your clients the most stress/concern? That is, what issue are they asking you about the most?

Issues %
The Economy/The Market Status (NET) 39
Market conditions/market volatility 29
Future of the markets 5
Economic uncertainty 4
Lack of confidence in markets/institutions/advisors 3
Recession 1
Concerned about Investments (NET) 21
Portfolio content/performance/returns 8
Effect market performance has on goals/portfolio 5
Safety of investments/concern over losing money 4
Low rates/want better returns 3
Portfolio risk/risk management 2
When/will portfolios recover 1
Having enough money/savings (NET) 19
Will they have enough for retirement/will it last 18
Cash flow 2
Ability to retire/meeting goals (NET) 11
Retirement planning/how much will they need for retirement 9
Will they be able to meet goals 2
When will be able to retire/possibility of having to work longer 1
Investment strategies 4
Debt/debt load 3
Taxes 3

Note: Items less than 2% not shown

• • • staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.