"Advisors need to step up their game to attract and retain such important clients.”
Financial advisors have not been able to translate robust gains in the stock market into improved investor satisfaction amongst their wealthiest clients. Fewer than three-quarters (73 percent) of Ultra High Net Worth Investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million (not including primary residence) say they are satisfied overall with their financial advisor, down from 80 percent in 2011 and 81 percent in 2010, according to a new Millionaire Corner wealth level study of advisor relationships.
Financial advisors are slightly more appreciated in Millionaire households. Seventy-two percent--up from 70 percent in 2011 and 2010--said they are satisfied overall with their advisor. Millionaires seem to be in an optimistic mindset and that may be shaping their attitudes toward their advisors. In another Millionaire Corner survey conducted in September, more than 60 percent said they were better off than they were a year ago.
Ultra High Net Worth investors enjoy investing and are hands-on when it comes to the day-to-day management of their investments. Only 13 percent identify themselves as advisor-dependent, according to the Millionaire Corner study, while one-third are advisor-assisted, meaning they consult regularly with a financial advisor, but still ultimately make the final decision regarding investments.
Twenty-nine percent consult with an advisor for a specific need, such as asset allocation or saving for retirement. Twenty-seven percent identify themselves as self-directed investors. Financial advisors to get relatively high marks from Ultra High Net Worth clients in several areas. Just under eight-in-ten respondents said they are satisfied with their financial advisor’s knowledge and expertise (77 percent) and responsiveness to requests (79 percent).
Just under two-thirds (65 percent) said they are satisfied with their financial advisor’s recommendations and advice during the recession. But they are slightly less satisfied than Millionaires in several areas. Fifty-one percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors, for example, rate face-to-face meetings with their financial advisor as excellent, compared to 54 percent of Millionaires.
Perhaps even more telling than satisfaction levels, more than one-quarter of affluent investors in all three wealth segments think they do a better job of investing than their advisors, observed George H. Walper, Spectrem Group president. “These findings should be a wake-up call that advisors need to step up their game to attract and retain such important clients."
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.