Investors Fret About 2024 US Presidential Election

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor November 15, 2023

Investors Fret About 2024 US Presidential Election

Janus Henderson Investors has released the findings of its Investor Survey entitled “Insights for a Brighter Future.” It aims to have a better understanding of how individual investors are navigating the ever-changing market.

Results from Janus Henderson Investors' latest survey reveal that the current political landscape is a significant source of anxiety, with 49 per cent of investors surveyed concerned about the impact the 2024 US presidential election will have on their finances.

This figure surpasses more immediate developments including persistent inflation (35 per cent), risk of recession (29 per cent), rising interest rates (27 per cent), and poor stock market performance (20 per cent), the survey shows.

The survey, which was conducted by US research firm 8 Acre Perspective among 1,000 mass affluent and high net worth investors nationwide with $250,000 or more in investible assets, sought to have a better understanding of how individual investors are navigating the ever-changing market. It took place from July to August 2023. 

Given the uncertainty, it is perhaps not surprising that 34 per cent of investors feel anxious about their finances, the firm said. Notably, older investors are more concerned about the election than younger investors. Nearly seven in 10 members of the Silent Generation (ages 75+) are very concerned about the 2024 US Presidential election compared with 37 per cent of Millennials (ages 25 to 40), the survey reveals.

“Despite investors’ concern about the 2024 US Presidential election, results haven’t historically been a reason to exit the capital markets,” said Matt Sommer, head of specialist consulting group at Janus Henderson Investors. “In fact, looking back at S&P 500 returns from 1937 through 2022, the average annual return was 9.9 per cent in presidential election years, and 12.5 per cent in non election years.” 

Investing more challenging
With 71 per cent of investors reporting that investing has become more challenging over the past few years and nearly as many (61 per cent) indicating that the cost of living is rising faster than their income and investments, demand for active management and financial education is strong, the firm continued.

Among respondents who own mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, 66 per cent want active funds in their portfolio, the survey shows.

Across all generations, investors’ appetite for improving their financial know-how is strong, as 86 per cent of investors are very interested or somewhat interested in increasing their financial knowledge. A desire to learn was particularly robust among younger investors – 96 per cent of both Millennials and Gen-Xers express meaningful interest in improving their financial education.

Among investors working with a financial advisor, 65 per cent said they were very satisfied with the quality of the relationship, 33 per cent were somewhat satisfied, and 2 per cent dissatisfied. 

Among the ways in which investors have communicated with their advisor over the past six months, telephone (68 per cent), in person (54 per cent) and email (53 per cent) were the most common methods. Just 28 per cent of investors report interacting with their advisor by video conference. However, the majority (52 per cent) say they would be comfortable using video conference technology to speak with their financial advisor. For Millennials, nearly half are not comfortable interacting with their financial advisor by telephone, the survey reveals.

“As video conferencing becomes more entrenched in our everyday lives, geographical barriers are being diminished, providing advisors with an opportunity to tap into a much broader circle of friends, family members, entrepreneurs, and successful professionals as potential clients or referral sources,” said Sommer. “Investing in technology that delivers a seamless and frictionless experience for clients and prospects will be pivotal for future growth.” 

Headquartered in London, the Janus Henderson Group is a global active asset manager, with about $308.3 billion in assets under management. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Register for FamilyWealthReport today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes