Financial advisers' No. 1 worry: A Democrat in the White House

Jan 14, 2008 @ 12:01 am

By Aaron Siegel

Nothing worries financial advisers more than the prospect of a Democrat's being elected president in November, according to a quarterly poll by Brinker Capital Inc. The fourth-quarter edition of the Brinker Barometer, which polled 236 advisers in December, found that 22% indicated that a "Democrat in the White House" worried them more than all other economic or geopolitical concerns. Rounding out the list of concerns was "global unrest" (15%), "U.S. economic growth" (15%), "a terrorist attack" (13%) and "a recession" (13%). When asked what their greatest tax concern would be under a Democratic administration, 81% of advisers cited a potential increase in the capital gains tax, an income tax increase and heavier taxes on dividends.

"[Departing from] the Bush administration's approach to taxation will have a large impact on advisers and their clients," said John E. Coyne, president of Berwyn, Pa.-based Brinker Capital, which manages $9.4 billion in assets. "When taxes begin to erode returns, equities remain less attractive."

The results jibe with a poll that Brinker conducted last summer in which 60% of advisers said that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., would be the worst choice in terms of the economy and investing.

On the flip side of that poll, 36% of advisers said they thought that Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani would have the most positive effect on the U.S. economy and investing (InvestmentNews, Aug. 13).

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