Election over, advisers plan their next moves with clients

Advisers ready trades and talking points for crushed Clinton supporters

Nov 9, 2016 @ 12:01 am

By Liz Skinner

The nation's financial advisers woke to an unexpected president-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday and a full to-do list: Console. Buy. Sell.

Many planners have spent the last several months trying to convince clients that their portfolios were safe regardless of who moves into the White House in January.

However, given the shock of Mr. Trump's win, some clients will require a phone call or email today to remind them they are invested for the long haul, advisers said. Some advisers sent a mass email to clients to reassure them.

“The reality is people are either thrilled or devastated,” said Brittain Prigge, a partner and head of relationship management for Balentine. “The market had priced in a Clinton victory and frankly they were flat wrong, as was the media.”

Austin Frye, founder of Frye Financial Center, spent the morning on the phone consoling clients who strongly supported Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I'm reassuring them that the financial markets will be OK and that is not the area they have to worry about,” he said.

Less regulation and lower taxes are generally bullish for stocks, he told clients, also explaining the resiliency of capitalism to “operate effectively outside of our political system."

Some advisers are calling clients to discuss post-election transactions.

During the last few weeks, many advisers suggested that clients shelve cash until after the election, especially if the investors were particularly nervous about how the vote would come out. Some investment strategists also have held off making broad portfolio adjustments until after this unprecedented election concluded.

“If you have money on the sidelines ready to invest, the next few months might prove a good time to get into the market,” Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock, told his clients in a note Wednesday morning.

He also suggested they consider adding more into equities if the market drops, to take advantage of reduced prices.

As Mr. Trump's win became apparent overnight, contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 315 points, or 1.7%, to 17,970. That quick sell-off in global stocks and a rally in haven assets eased as the Republican struck a more conciliatory tone in his first speech as president-elect, and as thoughts of tax cuts and deregulation were considered.

Ms. Prigge said she began to hear from clients as early as 12:02 a.m., about 90 minutes before the news networks declared a victory for Mr. Trump. In an email, a Balentine client asked her to invest $200,000 that they've been holding out of the market until after the vote.

Ms. Prigge said she'll be investing all client cash that's not needed for liquidity. Balentine's investment strategy team plans to sell bonds, gold and real estate investment trusts to buy equities, specifically small value, large value and emerging markets.

“We think the market downturn is going to be temporary and this is a buying opportunity,” Ms. Prigge said.

(More: Bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans bodes well for infrastructure investments)

Other advisory firms said they've prepared clients for the outcome and won't need to communicate with them at all following up on the surprise election results.

“Clients get this is one of the storms of their investing experience, and that it, too, will pass,” said Eric Hehman, chief executive of Austin Asset.

Tony Ogorek, founder of Ogorek Wealth Management, said he originally planned to prepare a short video for clients to view after the outcome to make sure they kept the election results in perspective.

However, he decided against that, fearing it would serve to overhype an event that the media has built up too much already.

“I don't think I can really add anything to the discourse, because what's going to happen is inherently unknowable, so why throw more fuel on the fire,” Mr. Ogorek said.

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