While most Millionaires work with a financial advisor in some capacity, a Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study finds a more self-directed Millionaire investor who is confident in his or her financial knowledge and investment acumen.
Seven-in-ten affluent investors feel today’s financial markets are too complicated to navigate without a financial advisor, according to a recent Charles Schwab study. One-third of the more than 1,000 affluent investors said their desire for investment advice has increased in the past year.
A first quarter wealth level study conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner finds an increasingly self-directed Millionaire investor who is confident in his or her financial knowledge and investment acumen. But as with the Schwab study, Millionaires do see many benefits in working with an advisor.
Nearly-three quarters of Millionaire respondents work with a financial advisor in some capacity. The highest percentage (32 percent), though, identify themselves as self-directed, meaning they make their own investment decisions without professional assistance. This is up from 30 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2011. Thirty percent are self-professed event-driven investors, who seek professional counsel for specific needs such as asset allocation or retirement planning. Nearly one-quarter said they are advisor-assisted investors who regularly consult with a financial advisor but ultimately make most of the final investment decisions. Only 14 percent said they are advisor-dependent.
More than half (53 percent) of Millionaires we surveyed said they enjoy investing and would not want to give it up. This is up from 47 percent in 2012. Similarly, 51 percent like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) consider themselves fairly knowledgeable about financial products and investments, but still have a great deal to learn, while 22 percent said they are very knowledgeable.
The Schwab study found that three-quarters of affluent respondents said they are more confident making investment decisions when they collaborate with their financial advisor. Peace of mind was also cited as one of the primary benefits of working with an advisor by a majority (57 percent) of Millionaire investors surveyed in 2012 by Millionaire Corner. Three-fourths said that working with a financial advisor improves their investment knowledge, while 64 percent said it improves their investment returns.
A significant majority of respondents to both the Schwab and Millionaire Corner placed the highest importance on honesty, trustworthiness and transparency in their relationship with their financial advisor.
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.