Advisers and their clients are optimistic about the year ahead, with advisers expecting to expand their businesses and improve their use of technology, according to recent research.

The SEI Advisor Network released a survey Thursday showing that more than half of investors have moved back into the market, though risk and its avoidance are now overriding concerns. Forty-five percent of advisers contacted said their clients are "not as risk-tolerant as originally thought," and 29% said clients learned they "can handle market volatility if they focus on long-term goals."

The survey of 442 advisers done this month and in December found that most advisers said they communicated with clients more frequently last year. "This poll shows the true impact of the financial crisis that started in 2008 — advisers are looking for new ways to make their business more secure and more successful," said Stephen Onofrio, the head of sales and service at SEI Advisor Network, in a press release. "Advisers that identify and implement best practices in processes, procedures and technology will win the race for investor confidence and grow assets."

For this year, most advisers intend to become more client-focused, expand their books of business and improve technology. Seventy percent predicted a 0% to 10% gain in performance for portfolios diversified with 60% equities and 40% bonds.

At Sept. 30 SEI, through its subsidiaries and partnerships, administered $383 billion of mutual fund and pooled assets and managed $156 billion.

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