Investors say their financial advisors aren't heeding the call when stock market news is bad.
In the midst of August’s dismal stock market news, investors were more likely to conduct independent research about what they should do rather than receive a phone call from their advisor, according to a recent survey conducted by Millionaire Corner/Spectrem Group.
Standard & Poor’s decision Aug. 5 to downgrade the U.S. credit rating triggered the worst market downturn since 2008. The Dow Jones plummeted more than 500 points and continued to see-saw over the next two weeks.
Just over 19 percent of investors we surveyed said they had taken it upon themselves to closely monitor stock market news, research options and review their portfolios. Just over 12 percent reported that their advisor had called to answer questions and offer reassurance.
Many investors felt let down by their advisor during 2008, according to interviews we conducted late last year, and are taking a greater role in their own investments. “We're becoming savvier because we're reading more,” one told us. “We're jaded by the fact that the people who are managing our money are losing it.”
Another complained, “If I don’t go online or make a phone call, they don’t contact me. (I would like to get information and ideas on a pro-active basis) about shifting assets because they are not performing as expected.” Echoed another, “Why didn't my financial guy call me and say, 'I don't like what I'm seeing, let’s make some changes?’ When things started picking up again, why didn't he call me and say, "Well. let’s do this, let’s do that.’”.
Still another questioned whether his wealth level was enough to compel his advisor to reach out to him. Our August survey seemed to bear out this sentiment. The percentage of investors who did hear from their advisor increased with wealth level. Only about 6 percent of those with a net worth of less than $100,000 said their advisor had pro-actively called them versus nearly 17 percent of those with a net worth of more than $1 million.
Advisors were more likely to reach out to their women clients, our survey found. Nearly 14 percent of women said their advisor had called as the stock market news worsened versus nearly 12 percent of men. Women were also more likely to reach out to their advisor than their male counterparts (13.3 percent versus 10.1 percent).