S&P 500 will end year flat or in positive territory, according to US financial professionals

Recent survey finds financial professionals have positive outlook on US markets this year. 

Financial professionals in the US are confident on their one-year outlook for stock market returns, with 78% stating the S&P 500 will end the year flat or in positive territory.

Of those surveyed, a further 74% said the US will not experience a recession in 2016, despite the year’s volatile start.

The findings come from a survey carried out by NerdWallet, who received 200 responses from financial advisors, wealth managers and other financial professionals.

Fear was labelled as a ‘big threat’ to long-term success, as NerdWallet highlighted that “providing financial talk therapy” has become more popular and relevant amid volatile financial markets.

The survey said: “Getting clients to stick with a long-term financial plan requires helping customers manage anxieties brought on by the stock market’s rocky start in 2016.”

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Joe Allaria, a financial planner at Visionary Wealth Advisors in Illinois, explained: “Our clients are well-educated, but many people are letting short-term volatility influence their long-term decisions, even though volatility is normal and should be expected when investing in the stock market.”

Survey participants agreed the smartest thing investors can do in 2016 is to stay calm rather than panic.

“Based on history, those who are able to power through the pain eventually recover their losses and then some,” NerdWallet concluded.