Cynical investors who believe that financial advisors prioritize client contact by wealth level may have their suspicions confirmed by a recent Millionaire Corner survey that found those with the highest net worth were more likely to hear from their advisor during the August market downturn.
Overall, just over 12 percent of investors said that their financial advisor reached out to them during last month’s market sell-off to answer questions and offer reassurance. Of these, nearly 17 percent report a net worth of $1 million and up. In contrast, just about 6 percent with a net worth of less than $100,000 reported hearing from their advisor.
Business Owners and Senior Corporate Executives also ranked near the top of their financial advisors’ “call” list. Nearly 16 percent of each group reported hearing from them.
Advisors also seemed to favor older clients, with whom they perhaps have had the longest relationship. Nearly 15 percent of those between the ages of 51 and 60 reported contact from their financial advisor, as did just over 14 percent of those ages 60 and up. This is more than twice as many as those between the ages of 41 and 50 who said they received a pro-active call.
Financial advisors were also most likely to reach out to those under 40, which suggests they are trying to nurture a budding relationship with newer clients.
While nearly 20 percent of investors surveyed said they took it upon themselves to conduct independent research about what they should do in the face of the recent market volatility, previous wealth level studies found that not hearing from their financial advisor ranks second only to not having calls returned in a timely manner as a reason to change advisors.
Again, this is factor that takes on increased importance with wealthier households. Forty-eight percent of Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million would switch advisors if they were not pro-active, compared to 56 percent of Millionaire and Ultra High Net Worth households with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million.