Majority (77%) of financial advisers predict a market downturn over the next two years, with big market correction, geopolitical uncertainty, and trade war among their key concerns, according to a report by SEI.

Of those polled, 33% expect a market downturn next year while 44% forecast the same for 2020.

Only 13% of advisers surveyed said that the markets are clear of a downturn in the near future.

When asked about their top goal in 2019, 25% of advisers said they would focus on retention of HNW clients.

Increasing client referrals and technology workflow implementation were the top goals for 23% and 22% of advisers, respectively. 28% of advisers said they intend to improve the client experience while 25% said they would grow their advisory team.

Raising the marketing budget was cited as an investment priority by 18% of advisers while 17% emphasised acquisitions.

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The study found increasing client educational events and resources as the top resolution of advisers for the next year. The view was cited by 43% of advisers.

Taking advantage of more millennial investors, increasing digital marketing channels, building a centre of influence, and growing through acquiring other advisory firms were among the other key resolutions for 2019.

Besides, 34% of advisers cited the increasing shift away from a product-based business model to an advice-based one as the industry trend to watch in the next five to 10 years.

Just over a quarter of advisers said increased regulation and compliance oversight was a trend to watch.

SEI Independent Advisor Solutions managing director and head of practice management solutions John Anderson said: “This year’s survey reveals that goals and resolutions align with the continued evolution toward greater demand for personalised advice and service.

“Through a personalised financial plan, clients are more likely to understand how market events impact short-term and long-term goals.”