Advisers underwhelmed by Biden’s first 100 days

Financial advisers aren’t impressed with President Joe Biden over his first 100 days in office, according to an online survey of InvestmentNews readers.

The poll shows that 61% of respondents disapprove of the job Biden has done in the first three months of his presidency while 39% approve. The unscientific survey was released on April 29, Biden’s 100th day in office, and as of Monday, more than 100 readers have responded to each question.

The results contrasted with a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that gave Biden a 52% job approval.

Advisers opposed — 59% to 41% — the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation that sent stimulus checks to many Americans. Biden’s top priority upon entering office, it was approved with only Democratic votes in Congress.

Advisers also oppose the infrastructure packages Biden is proposing — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — by a 55%-45% margin. They’re skeptical of the tax increases on high-earners that Biden would implement to pay for the packages, coming down against them 60% to 40%.

Biden has proposed raising the individual tax rate to 39.6% for households making more than $400,000; boosting the capital gains rate from nearly 24% to more than 40% for households making more than $1 million annually and ending the step-up basis for inherited assets that have appreciated more than $1 million.

The tax that concerns advisers most is the capital gains increase, followed by the individual rate boost and then the estate tax reform. About 24% of advisers say they are not worried about the tax increases.

Nadine Marie Burns, chief executive of A New Path Financial in Ann Arbor, Mich., said the Biden tax increases would end up affecting a much broader swath of America than just the wealthy. She pointed to electricians and plumbers, who have built small businesses and could see the higher capital gains rate applying to them when they want to retire and sell their operations.

“Now when they sell that business under the Biden tax plan, they could see a tax for half [the sales profit] of that business,” Burns said. “These aren’t the mega-rich. They’re feeling like no one cares about them right now.”

Burns also said Biden promised to do better addressing the coronavirus pandemic than his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. But she said he hasn’t. “We’re just flailing along,” Burns said.

But another adviser gave Biden praised Biden for his administration’s pandemic response.

“He’s done a very solid job,” said Diahann Lassus, managing principal at Peapack Private Wealth Management in New Providence, New Jersey. “He’s not perfect. I don’t support everything he’s done or everything he’s talking about doing. But his handling of the virus with a focus on science and the distribution of vaccines I really believe has saved a lot of lives.”

But Lassus also has some qualms about Biden’s tax proposals.

“I’m not crazy about the tax increases,” Lassus said. “It depends on how it ends up. We have to figure out a way to raise taxes without impacting high middle-class folks. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

The post Advisers underwhelmed by Biden’s first 100 days appeared first on InvestmentNews.

As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.

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