The Financial Flash

At-a-glance News for Advisors

So far, more than half of Advisors Magazine respondents to our Stock Market 2022 Outlook Poll think the bull market will have legs into next year.

The question: Do you think the bull market in the US will continue in 2022?

To date, 29 percent of those answering see markets rising more than 10 percent and 24 percent of respondents see gains of between 5-9 percent. Another 29 percent see more modest growth of lower than 5 percent, and 17 percent of those polled think things turn negative, and the bears will prevail next year. What do you think? You can still participate here Stock market outlook 2022 Survey (surveymonkey.com), and we will update the results in future issues of Advisors Magazine.

The latest New York Life Wealth Watch survey found that nearly one-in-three Millennials (29 percent) reported having built a nest egg, saving an average of $4,241.21. This was attributed to paused costs such as deferred student loans, fewer daily expenses, and forgoing leases to move home with parents. What’s more, a higher number in this demographic now report being open to guidance from a financial professional. The economic slowdown caused by the pandemic halted major costs like daycare, student loan payments, and rent, and even paused everyday costs like gym memberships, coffee runs, and going out to eat, according to the survey findings. These slowdowns in costs were the primary drivers of increased savings among younger generations, with 61 percent of Millennials experiencing pandemic-related paused expenses. Of this group, 48 percent of Millennials were able to save towards their financial goals over the past 18 months, compared to 45 percent of Baby Boomers and 41 percent of Gen Xers. “Millennials, while relatively early in their careers, have already had to face two financial shocks in their lifetimes: the 2008 recession and now the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aaron Ball, senior vice president, Head of Insurance Solutions, Service and Marketing, New York Life. “It’s a silver lining that nearly two-thirds of Millennials have had the chance to really think about their financial situation in the last 18 months.”

More than half of working women (51 percent) indicate their financial situation has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, according to Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Women's Health, Finances, and Retirement Outlook. The study was released recently by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) in collaboration with Transamerica Institute®. As part of TCRS' 21st Annual Retirement Survey of Workers, one of the largest and longest-running surveys of its kind, the new study examines the retirement outlook of women in the workforce. It is based on a survey of employed workers conducted in late 2020 and contains recommendations for women, employers, and policymakers to improve retirement security. "Despite progress made in recent decades, women continue to be at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement than men, in large part due to the gender pay gap and time out of the workforce for parenting and caregiving," said Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute and TCRS. "Amid the pandemic, many women have been stretched beyond their limits, balancing work and family,” she added. “Given these pressures, some have given up their employment and dropped out of the workforce altogether."

Interest in socially responsible practices and investing has soared to a record high, according to the latest study conducted by Allianz Life Insurance Company of Minneapolis. Findings showed that Americans now expect all companies, particularly financial services and insurance firms, to adhere to new standards. When making investment decisions, 97 percent of respondents indicated that social responsibility is important. Another 53 percent of those not currently investing in socially responsible companies are interested in starting. And 68 percent said knowing more about the social responsibility efforts of financial services companies would influence their decision to do business with them, while 63 percent expressed the same about insurance companies. “While it is not completely surprising that socially responsible investing has risen to the forefront, the level of interest is surprising,” said Todd Hedtke, chief investment officer, Allianz Life. “Companies need to know that socially responsible practices are not a 'nice to have,' they are table-stakes in the mind of the American investor.”

The Wake Forest University School of Professional Studies has expanded its online academic programs for working professionals to include financial planning credentials and certification through a collaboration with the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company. Program offerings include a CFP® certification program that results in a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from Wake Forest and satisfies the education requirement for students to sit for the CFP® exam and earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, conferred by the CFP Board. Students can also choose from among five professional designation credentials that provide specific skill sets in financial planning, conferred by the College for Financial Planning, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. These designation programs can be used to help candidates take the next step in their careers, whether just starting out or gaining specialized expertise. For those entering the field, these designation programs provide stackable credit toward the Certificate in Financial Planning. Designed with flexibility for working adults, students have the option of online instructor-led courses or on-demand self-study curriculum.

 

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