Scared Stockless: How Advisors Calm Jittery Clients

Published in in February 2013

… The tough conversations that dominated the advisor-client relationship during the 2007-2009 meltdown have not gone away. Far from it. Even though inflows into stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds surged—finally—at the start of the year at the hands of suddenly bullish investors, advisors across the nation report what some are calling a historic pullback from stocks, and they are using words like “raw,” “shell-shocked” and “skittish” to explain their clients’ continuing malaise.

As Dan Carlson, chief financial officer of New York City-based Toroso Investments, puts it: “Something that’s not talked about a lot is that when we had the tech bubble blow up in 2001, everyone knew it was a high-risk environment. In 2008, it was my bank and my home that blew up. That’s a totally different psychological blow-up that people have to get over. That gets to the core of what a person’s emotional psyche can handle.”

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