Bet on emerging international markets: New advisor survey

Best places to put capital to work in 2015
Best places to put capital to work in 2015   

The best way to weather possible market volatility this year will be to put more money into international investments—in particular, emerging markets—according to a new survey of the newly revamped CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council. The council—whose 20 members have, on average, each been in business for more than two decades, managing more than $251 million in assets for their respective clients—welcomes five new advisors to its ranks for 2015.

Stocks are at the top of the advisors' lists of where to invest capital this year, ahead of real estate, bonds and commodities, according to the survey. However, council members say investors should be more strategic in their allocation to equities.

CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson with new CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council members Grant Rawdin, founder and  CEO of Wescott Financial Advisory Group; Zanellia Harris, president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management; and Manisha Thakor, director of wealth strategies for women at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance.
Judy Gee | CNBC
CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson with new CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council members Grant Rawdin, founder and CEO of Wescott Financial Advisory Group; Zanellia Harris, president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management; and Manisha Thakor, director of wealth strategies for women at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance.

Some key findings from the CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council survey include:

  • More than three-quarters of those polled said that they plan to discuss increasing clients' exposure to international investments.
  • Nearly 6 out of 10 advisors (59 percent) said that they would favor emerging markets in terms of international exposure. Four in 10 would favor European investments, despite uncertainty about the European Central Bank's plans to stimulate the region's economy.
  • Almost half of the advisors (47 percent) said that they would see a benefit to a tactical asset allocation that increases emerging markets, while less than a quarter (24 percent) said that about large-cap stocks. Emerging markets, international developed countries and small-cap stocks are the top three asset classes that would benefit from a tactical increase, according to those who responded to the survey.
  • Only 6 percent of the advisors said investors would benefit from a tactical increase to fixed income.

"This survey provides keen insights into the investment strategies of some leading financial advisors in the industry," said Sharon Epperson, CNBC senior personal finance correspondent. "The majority of these financial advisors are managing money for retirees, who are focused on investments that generate income.

Survey: Equities ranked best investment for 2015
Survey: Equities ranked best investment for 2015   

"But they also need to see their investments grow since they could be in retirement for decades and they need to make sure their money lasts as long as they do," Epperson added.

The five new members of the CNBC FInancial Advisor Council are Shannon Eusey, president and founder of Beacon Pointe Advisors; Zaneilia Harris, president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management; Steve Lockshin, former CEO of Convergent Wealth Advisors; Grant Rawdin, founder and CEO of Wescott Financial Advisory Group; and Manisha Thakor, director of wealth strategies for women at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance.

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"Just this past December, monthly visitors to our financial advisors hub grew by 40 percent," said Jim Pavia, senior editor at large, CNBC Digital. "The demand for quality, long-term investment information is very high.

"We are proud to welcome new members to our esteemed Financial Advisor Council so we can continue to help our audience better navigate the multitude of complex investment options and strategies available to them," he added.