Financial Advisors More Stressed Than National Norm, Finds FlexShares Advisor Wellness Survey

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  • Compliance/regulatory issues and growing their practice were the top two sources of work stress.
  • Advisors with more years of experience have less stress and greater life satisfaction.
  • Level of perceived stress is 19% higher for advisors who cope with stress using outside of work methods (i.e. leisure activities) vs. on-the-job changes.

CHICAGO, April 12, 2018 -- Financial advisors in the U.S. report average stress levels 25 percent higher than the national norm, according to a survey conducted by FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), quantifying the effect of mounting business pressures advisors are facing in today's competitive investment environment.

The survey of nearly 700 advisors found that compliance and regulatory issues (29 percent) and the challenges of growing their practice (25 percent) rank among the top stress inducers for advisors, with more than half of those surveyed citing these as their primary sources of work-related stress. These concerns were followed by having to balance work and personal matters (12 percent), ‘wear multiple hats' (10 percent), track the state of the markets (8 percent) and effectively manage client relationships (7 percent).

"The heightened regulatory environment, paired with the need to grow their business, has left advisors feeling significantly more pressure than other U.S. professionals," said Darek Wojnar, Head of Funds and Managed Accounts at Northern Trust Asset Management. "We want to focus on the wellness of advisors, and FlexShares is working to enhance advisors' lives through solutions that don't come with their own set of headaches."

Younger, Less Experienced Advisors Most Impacted

Stress is even higher for younger advisors. Those under age 50 report more than 39 percent greater stress levels than the national norm, indicating that financial advisory is a particularly challenging career path for the next generation. Younger advisors also reported lower levels of overall life satisfaction. Life satisfaction is 12.4% higher among older advisors than among those under age 70.

The stress of younger advisors may not only reflect their stage of life, but their years of experience as well. The survey found that only 32 percent of advisors with 20+ years of experience reported suffering from work-related stress, as compared to 41 percent of advisors with less than three years of experience.

Work Habits Matter Most

When it comes to managing stress, FlexShares found that not all coping strategies are created equal. Advisors who change their work habits, such as time management, delegation, and enhancing client relationships, are more likely to reduce stress than those who rely on methods outside of work, like meditation, exercise, or leisure activities. Those who used outside of work strategies were 19% more stressed than advisors who implemented on-the-job changes.

"Advisors are stressed, but there are ways to better manage their work processes that will help them run and grow their business successfully while maintaining health and personal satisfaction," said David Partain, Head of Marketing at FlexShares. "We are committed to helping advisors guide investors through the stress of the financial markets to pursue their long-term goals. We believe financial advisors serve a valuable role in helping clients plan for the future and manage their assets."

This is the first iteration of an annual survey by Northern Trust's FlexShares on financial advisor wellness. This survey aims to provide insight into work-related stress for advisors and the strategies they use to manage this stress, with the intent to measure trends over time. To view more results, visit https://go.flexshares.com/wellness.

About FlexShares
FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds are designed to pursue specific investment goals across both passive and active strategies. FlexShares offers differentiated ETF strategies that improve and simplify the investment decision process for the long-term investor. Follow us on Twitter @FlexSharesETFs.

About Northern Trust
Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 23 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2017, Northern Trust had assets under custody/administration of US$10.7 trillion, and assets under management of US$1.2 trillion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust.

Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.

Before investing, carefully consider the FlexShares investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other information is in the prospectus, a copy of which may be obtained by visiting www.flexshares.com. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest. Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor.

An investment in FlexShares is subject to numerous risks, including possible loss of principal. Fund returns may not match the return of the respective indexes. The Funds are subject to the following principal risks: asset class; commodity; concentration; counterparty; currency; derivatives; dividend; emerging markets; equity securities; fluctuation of yield; foreign securities; geographic; income; industry concentration; inflation-protected securities; infrastructure-related companies; interest rate / maturity risk; issuer; large cap; management; market; market trading; mid cap stock; MLP; momentum; natural resources; new funds; non-diversification; passive investment; privatization; small cap stock; tracking error; value investing; and volatility risk. A full description of risks is in the prospectus.