Politics As Unusual

Presidential Elections One of Top 3 Trends for Advisors, Investors

Advisors and Investors More Likely to Vote Republican— But Believe Democrat Will Win

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – May 4, 2016 – As primary contests across the U.S. continue to dominate the headlines, the presidential elections are rated one of the top three trends that will impact both financial advisors’ and individual investors’ approach to investing in 2016, according to a recent survey commissioned by Jefferson National and conducted by Harris Poll.

Presidential elections are also rated one of the top three drivers of volatility. And while both the advisors and investors in this survey indicated that they would be more likely to vote Republican in the upcoming election, they think that a Democrat will win.

“In a primary season that has been characterized by the unexpected—and the unprecedented—this year’s presidential elections are seen as a key driver of greater volatility and a leading influence on advisors’ and investors’ approach to investing,” said Mitchell H. Caplan, CEO of Jefferson National. “And while it is always important for investors to work with an advisor who can put their best interest first, by providing holistic and unbiased guidance, it becomes especially important at times like this, to help them manage through the challenging markets.”

Volatility top of mind

When asked to select the top three trends that will impact their approach to investing, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and fee-based advisors rated ongoing volatility first (34%), the U.S. Fed policy second (32%), and Presidential elections tied for third with low returns on investments (both at 25%).

Investors rated low returns on investments first (31%), the Presidential election second (30%), and U.S. Fed policy tied for third with domestic economic performance (both at 25%). And when asked to select the top three issues that are likely to cause market volatility, advisors rated presidential elections third (30%) while investors rated presidential elections first (36%).

The survey of more than 1,400 RIAs, fee-based advisors and individual investors reveals that only 15 percent of advisors and only 8 percent of investors said that the winner of the election will not impact how they invest. With the majority indicating that the election’s winner would have some impact on their approach to investing, nearly one third (31%) of advisors and nearly one-fourth (23%) of investors said they would invest more conservatively.

In a primary season that has been characterized by the unexpected—and the unprecedented—this year’s presidential elections are seen as a key driver of greater volatility and a leading influence on advisors’ and investors’ approach to investing


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Jefferson National from March 3 – 29, 2016 using a sample from the Harris Poll Panel of Financial Advisors and investors. Among the 683 Financial Advisors, there were 440 Independent Registered Investment Advisors and 243 Broker/Dealers. Among the 733 Investors, there were 167 Mass Affluent, 184 Emerging High Net Worth, 199 High Net Worth and 183 Ultra High Net Worth.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. Because the sample is based on those who were invited to participate in the Harris Poll online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A complete survey method, including weighting variables, is available upon request.

Reading the Data in this Report

  • Responses may not add up to 100% due to weighting, computer rounding, or the acceptance of multiple responses.
  • An asterisk (*) denotes a value less than one percent but greater than zero.
  • A dash (-) denotes a value of zero.



About Harris Poll
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. Contact us for more information.
About Jefferson National
Jefferson National is a recognized innovator of a leading tax-advantaged investing platform for RIAs, fee-based advisors and the clients they serve. Trusted partner to a network of more than 3,500 advisors, Jefferson National provides greater efficiency, transparency and choice through an adaptable technology platform, award-winning distribution strategy and cost-effective servicing capabilities. Named the industry “Gold Standard” and winner of more than 50 industry awards, the company serves advisors and their clients nationwide through its subsidiaries Jefferson National Life Insurance Company and Jefferson National Life Insurance Company of New York. To reach our advisor support desk, please call 1-866-WHY-FLAT (1-866-949-3528). Learn more at www.jeffnat.com.