February 09, 2012 10:00 ET

SEI Quick Poll: After Strong January, Advisors Turn Decidedly Optimistic for 2012

In Three-Week Span, Advisors' Market Optimism Increases 50 Percent

OAKS, PA--(Marketwire - Feb 9, 2012) - After a strong start for the stock market in January, financial advisors have turned decidedly more optimistic on the market's performance for 2012, according to an SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) Quick Poll released today. Nearly all advisors surveyed (90 percent) in early February said they expect a positive return of the S&P 500 for 2012; an 18 percent increase compared to a similar survey conducted in mid-January. Even more dramatic was a 50 percent increase among those who predict gains of greater than five percent. The February survey was completed by more than 100 advisors, the majority of whom manage more than $50 million in assets.

"Investors and advisors, alike, have been waiting for an excuse to become more positive," said Steve Onofrio, Managing Director, SEI Advisor Network. "Whether it's the trend in unemployment numbers, positive corporate profits, or lack of bad news, the investing sentiment has shifted to a more optimistic attitude. While we aren't out of the woods yet, it's important for advisors, and investors, to recognize we are in the early stages of a changeover and position their portfolios accordingly. With that said, there are still global risks including Greece, Syria, Iran, and Europe, that could tilt sentiment negative again."

In addition to positive projections for the S&P 500, the survey found other points of growing optimism among advisors. More than one-quarter of advisors predict that the 'Pessimism Bubble' hovering over the economy will burst in 2012. Additionally, nearly one-third of advisors say investor sentiment can best be described by the phrase, "the tide is turning." Lastly, a majority of advisors said that investing adages, "Bull markets climb walls of worry," and "A rising tide lifts all boats," are the two most accurate phrases for today. Most advisors (87 percent) say that the likelihood of the payroll tax cuts being extended beyond February have a 50/50 chance, or better.

"Unfortunately, investors have become so used to the volatility that they now view any change, positive or negative, as a blip on the radar, rather than a true directional movement. Yet, clearly, advisors are more confident in the markets," said John A. Scott, CEO of Cedrus in Golden, CO. "Advisors have a responsibility to educate and keep their clients informed on happenings in the markets to make sure they understand the true fundamental drivers of performance. I view this as an ideal opportunity for advisors to capitalize on the many investors who are disappointed with their past performance and are looking for a new advisor to better position them to attain their varied goals in any market condition."

To learn more about the SEI Advisor Network, please visit

About The SEI Advisor Network
The SEI Advisor Network provides financial advisors with turnkey wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies, administration and technology platforms, and practice management programs. It is through these services that SEI helps advisors save time, grow revenues, and differentiate themselves in the market. With a history of financial strength, stability, and transparency, the SEI Advisor Network has been serving the independent financial advisor market for more than 16 years, has more than 5,800 advisors who work with SEI, and $30.4 billion in advisors' assets under management (as of Dec. 31, 2011). The SEI Advisor Network is a strategic business unit of SEI. For more information, visit

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of December 31, 2011, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $404 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $172 billion in assets under management and $232 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit