What criteria do Millionaires use to select a financial provider?
The relationship between a Millionaire and their primary financial advisor is an important one, and Millionaire investors, wisely, don’t trust just any individual with their financial security. So who do they trust – and why? According to research conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner in December 2013, Millionaires most trust advisors from Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Fidelity.
Millionaires cited Wells Fargo (8 percent), Morgan Stanley (7 percent), Fidelity (7 percent), and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (6 percent) as their preferred financial advisor. Edward Jones followed with 5 percent.
Younger Millionaires do tend to have slightly different preferences than their older counterparts though. Segmented by age, 11 percent of investors between the ages of 45 and 54 chose Bank of America-Merrill Lynch as their primary advisor. Nine percent of advisors over the age of 54 chose Fidelity. While Wells Fargo was chosen by 8 percent of investors overall and was the most often chosen provider, only 4 percent of investors under the age of 45 use Wells Fargo.
More than one-half of Millionaires surveyed by Millionaire Corner consider the services of an advisor to be very expensive; however, they still recognize there is value in working with a financial professional. Over 41 percent of Millionaires report that today they conduct more independent research about investments than they have in the past, and less than one-third think they could do a better job of investing than a professional. The trick is, building a relationship with an advisor who is best suited to meet an individual’s particular investing needs.
So what qualifications do Millionaire investors consider to be most influential in choosing a new advisor? Overall, they say they most want a company that is well known, with a reputation for financial stability. In dealing with an advisor, responsiveness to requests trumps an advisor’s knowledge and expertise.
When it comes to ranking specific financial firms based on individual criteria, Millionaires tend to spread the wealth. When asked to identify which firms excelled at offering personalized services, 71 percent of Millionaire investors said Fidelity and Merrill Lynch offered the most personalized services, and seventy percent said Raymond James and Charles Schwab also offered personalized services.
Fidelity led the field for offering the most talented advisors, with 77 percent of Millionaire investors agreeing the firm’s advisors are top notch. BMO Harris and Charles Schwab were identified by 70 percent of investors as also offering the most talented advisors.
Even using these criteria as guidance, investors should take care when conducting a search for a new financial advisor. Luckily, Millionaire Corner’s new Best Financial Advisors search allows individuals the opportunity to find an advisor who will best meet their financial needs by comparing ratings given to advisors by their current clients. Explore this new tool today to find a top advisor today!
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.