High net worth investors maintain their long-standing preference for a full-service broker as their primary financial advisor. Why?
What type of financial professional is most likely to serve as primary advisor to high net worth investors? A new report from Millionaire Corner shows that the high net worth are maintaining their long-standing preference to work primarily with a full-service broker.
A full-service broker buys and sells stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment products on behalf of their clients, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees the brokerage industry. Broker-dealers generally must be members of FINRA and register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal agency that regulates financial markets, according to FINRA. Registered representatives, sales personnel who work for broker dealers, must register with FINRA, pass a qualifying exam and become licensed with state securities regulators.
Full-service brokers working for large firms can typically tap into large research operations when making investment recommendations, can handle nearly every kind of financial transaction and may offer financial planning and other services, according to FINRA.
High net worth investors are significantly more likely to use a full-service broker as their primary advisor than any other type of financial professional, according to Millionaire Corner’s recently published UHNW 2012, Volume 3 – Relationships with Advisor. High net worth investors have investable assets of $5 million to $25 million.
Roughly 40 percent of high net worth investors identify a full-service broker as their primary advisor, according to our research. Young high net worth investors show an even stronger preference for full-service brokers. Nearly 60 percent of high net worth investors ages 44 and younger indicate that their primary advisor is a full-service broker.
What other types of financial professionals serve as primary advisors for high net worth investors? About 13 percent use an independent financial planner, 12 percent use an independent investment advisor and 12 percent use an investment planner. An even larger share – 19 percent – does not use any type of financial advisor.
Most high net worth investors (59 percent) use one advisor, but 26 percent works with two and 8 percent, three. Seven percent works with four or more.
Why do high net worth investors prefer a full-service broker-dealer? A full-service broker-dealer matches some of their stated needs and preferences. Nearly three-fourths of high net worth investors prefers to use a very diverse financial firm, and 70 percent say it’s important that their advisor offers products from a variety of different companies.