Despite negative market sentiment due to concerns over the looming "fiscal cliff," many investors are unprepared for it, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Financial.

While 63 percent of respondents are concerned their investment portfolios will be negatively affected by tax code changes now that President Obama has been re-elected, 61 percent will take no action, saying they either don’t plan to make adjustments to their portfolio or don’t know what adjustments to make.

Sixty percent of respondents also said they either won’t or are unsure if they will meet with a financial advisor to discuss how these changes may affect their portfolio. Of those who do plan to meet with a financial advisor, 26 percent will wait until 2013 or after tax code changes take effect.

“There is a huge opportunity for advisors to proactively engage clients in a discussion about how tax code changes may impact their portfolio,” said Eric Henderson, senior vice president of Life Insurance and Annuities for Nationwide Financial. “Investors may miss an opportunity by waiting, and according to our survey, many of them are not planning to initiate this discussion.”

The survey, conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, by Harris Interactive, a custom market research firm, for Nationwide Financial, drew from 751 investors with $250,000 or more in annual household income or investable assets.

While only 10% of respondents have already met with their advisor, nearly all of those who did found it to be helpful in understanding tax code changes and planning changes to their portfolio that will minimize potential impact.

“While most financial advisors do not provide tax advice, our survey shows an opportunity for advisors to provide portfolio advice based on the implications of new taxes,” Henderson said. “This type of proactive council can prevent clients from missing out on significant opportunities, while building trust, cementing long-term relationships and opening up sales opportunities.”

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