Advisers' confidence in Trump soars after president's address to Congress

After an erratic five weeks in office, Mr. Trump's speech makes him 'more presidential'

Mar 1, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.
+ Zoom
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday made him look "more presidential" and boosted financial advisers' confidence in his performance, according to interviews with advisers and an InvestmentNews reader survey.

After an erratic first five weeks in office marked by controversies over refugee policy, his campaign's contacts with Russian officials and his combative relationship with the media, Mr. Trump spoke of the "renewal of the American spirit" and the need to "work past the differences of party."

His tone struck a chord with advisers.

The InvestmentNews online survey of 624 advisers shows that 62% rated Mr. Trump's speech as "excellent," while about 69% said that they had "more" or "significantly more" confidence in Mr. Trump after his one-hour remarks.

"He was a different person than I'm used to seeing," said Leon LaBrecque, chief executive of LJPR Financial Advisors. "He was a lot quieter. He was a lot more presidential. There seemed to be a willingness to work together and get down to the business at hand. That was very positive."

Mark Silberfarb, managing principal of the Global Financial Institute, an advisory and investment strategy consulting firm, also gave Mr. Trump's speech a rave review.

"This was the best speech he's ever given," Mr. Silberfarb said. "Maybe that's because he didn't go off the charts. He was extremely presidential."

How would you rate President Trump's speech last night?
After the speech, how has your confidence in President Trump changed?
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mr. Trump has handled the job as president so far?
Source: InvestmentNews survey

InvestmentNewssurveys during the election showed that a majority of advisers supported Mr. Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. Their support remains strong, with the latest poll showing that about 68% "approve" or "strongly approve" of the job he's doing as president.

His general themes — cutting taxes, undoing the health care reform law and increasing infrastructure spending — generally resonated with advisers.

"It was a market friendly speech," said Kerrie Debbs, a partner at Main Street Financial Solutions. "It spoke to the safety of [Americans'] financial future."

But Mr. Trump provided little detail on policy, leaving advisers unsure of where tax reform and other issues are headed.

"Significant movement on corporate tax reform is likely this year," said Suzanne Shier, chief tax strategist and wealth planner at Northern Trust. "We don't have any clear guidance on how S Corps, limited liability corporations and partnerships will be dealt with."

Mr. Trump only mentioned "massive tax relief for the middle class" on the other side of the ledger.

"My gut [reaction] is corporate [tax cuts] look probable. Individual [cuts] look watered down," Mr. LaBrecque said. "The estate tax repeal is not going to happen for awhile."

In his speech, Mr. Trump said that the "military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve." When discussing infrastructure spending, he said his administration would emphasize "buy American and hire American." That gave Therese Nicklas, owner of The Wealth Coach for Women Inc., a talking point for clients.

"Companies that make products that the military probably will use may be a good place to invest," Ms. Nicklas said. "And American companies I think will come out swinging."

The stock market made a strong gain again on Wednesday, and Mr. Silberfarb gave the credit to Mr. Trump's speech.

"I think there's causality there," he said. "He's reducing restraints and taxes to make it easier to do business."

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Upcoming Event

Apr 30

Conference

Retirement Income Summit

Join InvestmentNews at the 12th annual Retirement Income Summit - the industry's premier retirement planning conference.Much has changed - and much remains to be learned. Attend and discuss how the future is full of opportunity for ... Learn more

Featured video

Events

Federated's Orlando: The economic and financial midyear outlook

As a country, are we stuck in neutral? Federated's Phil Orlando explains what he believes needs to happen to create an economic surge. (Hint: It rhymes with "crump.")

Video Spotlight

Will It Last As Long As Your Clients Do?

Sponsored by Prudential

Video Spotlight

The Catalyst

Sponsored by Pershing

Latest news & opinion

Brian Block's $4 million bonus was tied to a key metric at ARCP

Prosecution rests case in fraud trial against CFO of American Realty Capital Properties.

Edward Jones is winning the Google search war

Brokerage firm's digital marketing investment helps land it at the top of local and overall search engine results, report finds.

Voya's win in 401(k) fee suit involving Financial Engines bodes well for other record keepers

Fidelity, Aon Hewitt and Xerox HR Solutions are currently defending against similar fiduciary-breach claims.

Collective investment trusts getting more attention from 401(k) advisers

The funds are catching on due largely to lower costs and more product availability, but come with some inherent drawbacks.

Vanguard rides robo-advice wave to $65B in assets

Personal Advisor Services, four times the size of its closest competitor, combines digital and human touch.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print