Men and women, as well as retirement plan participants across all age levels, place different importance on qualities sought in a financial advisor.
What qualities are most important to retirement plan participants in choosing and working with a financial advisor? It depends on age and gender, according to a new study of advisor usage conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
Overall, retirement plan participants consider honesty and trustworthiness to be the most important qualities in a financial advisor, followed by an advisor’s investment track record, the study finds. Retirement plan participants who use a financial advisor next consider transparency and proactive communication to be the most important quality in a working relationship.
Other qualities and services that retirement plan participants consider to be important include:
· Fees or commissions charged
· Access to products from a variety of different companies
· A recommendation or referral from a trusted associate
· Website and online services
· Association with a well-known company or brand
· Use of social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn
Tellingly, men and women, as well as retirement plan participants across all age levels place different importance on these qualities. Women, for example, place much more importance than men on referrals and recommendations in choosing a financial advisor (82 percent vs. 63 percent of men). They also are more likely to prefer that a financial advisor work with a well-known company or brand (72 percent vs. 58 percent). Fees and investment track record are also significantly more important to women than men.
Women are more likely than men to self-report a lack of confidence in their financial knowledge, ongoing Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner research finds. A previous survey of Affluent men and women found that while men and women near-equally appreciate being able to delegate responsibility for their money and investment management to an expert, women are more likely to express that working with a financial advisor gives them peace of mind (60 percent vs. 56 percent).
Women may be selling themselves short as successful managers of money. See our interview with Candace Bahr, founder of Wife.org
Age, too, is a factor in what qualities are most important to retirement plan participants. For example, referrals and association with a well-known company or brand are much less important to Millennials than they are to their older counterparts. Millennials. Conversely, baby boomers and seniors prioritize transparency, investment track record and association with a well-known company or brand more than do Millennials.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.