FA Playbook

Advisors share top concerns for 2014


Financial advisors' top concerns

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Financial advisors have 2014 on their minds—from both personal and professional perspectives. Eight members of the CNBC Digital Financial Advisor Council share the top three concerns that they—and their investor clients for the new year.

By CNBC.com's Kenneth Kiesnoski.
Updated 28 March 2014

Brittney Castro, Financially Wise Women, founder and CEO

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(1) Tax planning

(2) Financial planning for following year

(3) Budgeting for holiday expenses

"This is always something that my clients face near the end of the year. I suggest they set up a holiday spending savings account and save into it during the year to build up the money they need to pay for gifts and holiday travel expenses."

Stacy Francis, Francis Financial, president and CEO

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(1) Status of stock market

(2) Increased taxes

(3) Staying on track

"The real wages paid to workers have significantly decreased over the last decade, leaving many of our clients worse off. A few … are still out of work and are having a hard time gaining employment."

Sheryl Garrett, Garrett Planning Network, founder and CEO

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(1) Government gridlock, a.k.a. "Congress risk"'

(2) Health-care reform, Social Security and Medicare

(3) Low interest rates

"Those heading into retirement are concerned about rising costs, while trying to increase their income safely in this low-interest rate environment."

Ed Gjertsen II, Mack Investment Securities, vice president

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(1) Health-care coverage

(2) Capturing market gains and avoiding taxes

(3) Investment latecomers

"To those who are still on the investment sidelines: Is it too late to jump into the market?"

Diahann Lassus, Lassus Wherley, president and chief investment officer

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(1) Impact of government gridlock

(2) Possible Fed taper and effect on investment

(3) Asset allocation

"Should I have more money invested in equity versus fixed income, with rising interest rates becoming a concern?"

Tim Maurer, Financial Consulate, vice president

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(1) Impact of rising interest rates on portfolios

(2) Impact of new tax laws (capital gains, Medicare surcharge) on high income clients

(3) Uncertainty anxiety

"Although the S&P 500 has been charging ever higher, for many it still feels like we're in the Great Recession. Throw [in] deepening crisis in … Europe, slowed growth in China, heightened Middle East conflicts, a massive (botched) health-care rollout and another looming debt-ceiling showdown, and everyone is just plain sick and tired of all the uncertainty."

Carolyn McClanahan, Life Planning Partners, founder and director of financial planning

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(1) Impact of health-care reform

(2) Tax implications of marriage for gay-lesbian clients

(3) Uncertainties of the bond market

"My biggest challenge right now is dealing with the uncertainties of the bond market. With the political uncertainties, clients have become more fearful of the bond market, and it is still important to them to protect capital."

Jon Yankee, FJY Financial, Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder

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(1) Dysfunction in D.C.

(2) Continuing to believe in asset allocation and diversification

(3) Deficit spending

"We try to educate [clients] about how deficit spending can be a good thing and normal—if it is spending on the right types of projects."