When it comes to politics, advisors need to be careful where they tread. Here’s how to successfully negotiate these choppy waters.

The political climate in America is more divided than ever and the 2016 election brings with it the usual debates on a litany of social, economic and military issues that presidential candidates are promising to solve. But advisors who get involved in politics need to be careful how they tread, as this can be a sensitive issue with many clients and can get them into trouble with their compliance departments as a result of a careless remark or posting on social media. Here’s what you need to know to successfully negotiate these choppy waters.

Maintain Neutrality

Most financial advisory compliance departments are going to tell their advisors and other employees that a strict policy of neutrality should be maintained in any job-related interaction or communication. Many clients have strong feelings about certain parties or candidates, and you’re best off by simply sticking to the facts when you speak with them about these issues. You can explain to them what the likely consequences will be for their money if one candidate gets elected versus another, but do your best to keep your own personal opinions to yourself. If you don’t then you may risk losing clients who have passionate views that differ from yours. (For more, see: Advisors: These Mistakes Could Cost You Clients.)

In many cases, you can steer clear of trouble by letting your clients lead the discussion when it comes to politics and then remain silent or give an unbiased response. Even if you disagree with what they’re saying, you may still be able to find some common ground with them somewhere. This can go a long way towards defusing potential antagonism or misunderstandings. But as long as you stick to the facts regarding fiscal and monetary policy when you speak, then it’s hard to go wrong. Talking about the market’s historical performance under one political party versus the other is also usually relatively safe territory as long as you don’t try to insert your own opinion into the discussion. Of course, some clients may still protest at what you tell them, but this can be dealt with in the same manner as any other unhappy client. It may help to point out to them that the markets have almost always gone up in the months after a Presidential election due to the degree of certainty that it brings.

Read more: Politics and Your Clients: Don’t Go There | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-advisors/032116/politics-and-your-clients-dont-go-there.asp#ixzz43Z6eSBOp
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