​​2019 Trends in Investing Survey


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Survey: ETFs Remain Preferred Investment Choice by Financial Advisers, Clients Showing Interest in Cannabis as a Potential Investment Opportunity


​New research from the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), ​the Journal of Financial Planning, ​and the FPA Research and Practice InstituteTM shows where financial advisers are investing today and where they plan to invest in the coming year. Year-over-year survey data from 2006 through 2019 indicate a possible shift from individual stock and bond usage to ETFs products. The survey also revealed clients are curious about newer investment opportunities. 

Other key findings from the 2019 Trends in Investing Survey include:​​​​

  • While 36 percent of advisers do not plan to decrease their use or recommendation of any investment vehicles in the next 12-months, 23 percent say they will reduce their use of individual stocks―a five percentage point increase from the 2018 survey.​

  • When asking advisers for their views on cryptocurrencies, only one percent say they are a viable investment option. Far more are skeptical with 18 percent saying they are a fad that is best avoided and 32 percent saying they are not a viable investment.​

  • Although the majority of planners continue to favor a blend of active and passive management, there was a continued uptick in a passive approach with 29 percent of survey respondents saying passive management provides the best overall investment performance (taking costs into account)—the largest amount since 2014.​

  • ​For the first time, the survey asked advisers for their predictions for equity returns and fixed-income returns over the next 12-months. On average, advisers believe equity returns will be 5.8 percent (6% median) and fixed-income returns will be 2.9 percent (3% median).​

The 2019 Trends in Investing Survey was fielded online in April 2019 and received 392 responses by financial advisers of various backgrounds and business models. Of those surveyed, 83 percent are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals and 53 percent indicated that they work as an independent IAR/RIA. A full report of the 2019 Trends in Investing Survey is now available below and includes additional details and narratives.

Access the 2019 Trends In Investing Report!

If you are a reporter workin​g on deadline and want to interview an FPA representative, please contact:


Ben Lewis

Public Relations Team Leader

Financial Planning Association (FPA)