Tuesday, 04 June 2024 07:54

Some Advisors Slow to Embrace Direct Indexing

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A survey of 631 financial advisors conducted by RIA Channel and FTSE Russell reveals that 79% of financial advisors do not currently use or offer direct indexing, although nearly half plan to begin adoption within the next five years. 

The survey shows that direct indexing’s growth remains in its infancy despite more awareness among advisors and clients. It also shows that many advisors are unfamiliar with direct indexing and unprepared for the shift in wealth management towards more personalized offerings. 

Among the respondents who offer direct indexing, 64% cited ‘tax loss harvesting’, 56% noted ‘tax efficient transitions’, and 40% acknowledged 'reducing concentration risk’ as major benefits of the strategy. Notably, 34% of advisors don’t feel confident talking to clients about direct indexing, despite offering the service.

In fact, the survey shows that 28% of advisors “don’t understand the benefits over other investment options,” while 27% believe the same goals can be reached with a portfolio of ETFs, and 20% see it as equivalent to separately managed accounts. 

In terms of obstacles, 34% said there was a ‘lack of client demand’, and 29% noted a lack of ‘understanding and knowledge of direct indexing’. Other factors cited were an absence of ‘organizational focus’ and ‘cost’.

Clearly, more needs to be done to educate advisors about the opportunity embedded in direct indexing to provide a personalized experience and help clients optimize their tax situations.

Finsum: Direct indexing is becoming increasingly ubiquitous; however, there is still a big gap when it comes to education. Here are some insights from a recent survey on what is preventing some advisors from adopting the strategy. 

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