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Who are the Top Financial Advisors for Ultra High Net Worth Investors?

Among Affluent investors, the UHNW are the most confident about their financial knowledge and expertise. They credit themselves, rather than their financial advisor for most of their financial success.

| BY Donald Liebenson

Ultra High Net Worth investors are the most prized clients and prospects for financial advisors. They also have the highest expectations for service. Which companies are exceeding these expectations to become the preferred advisors?

A new Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner wealth level study of investors with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million (not including primary residence) finds that Wells Fargo has taken Morgan Stanley’s place atop their ranking of the top advisors. Morgan Stanley, last year’s most preferred advisor, falls to No. 2, while Fidelity, not among the top four last year, ranks at No. 3. Almost half of UHNW respondents (46 percent) cited “Other,” as their top advisor. These were companies that individually did not crack the 1 percent benchmark.

Among Affluent investors, the UHNW are the most confident about their financial knowledge and expertise. They credit themselves, rather than their financial advisor for most of their financial success. On a scale between 0 (themselves) and 100 (financial advisor), UHNW investors scored 39.74. But ongoing Millionaire Corner research finds that a majority of the wealthiest investors say that working with a financial advisor offers many benefits, chief among them improved financial knowledge and “peace of mind.”

The new Millionaire Corner study finds that more than one-third of UHNW investors (36 percent) said they have worked with a professional advisor more in the past two years than they did previously.

Less than one-fourth of these elite investors identify themselves as self-directed, meaning they make all of their financial and investment decisions without consulting a professional advisor. In comparison, 26 percent of Millionaire investors identify themselves as much, as does 39 percent of Main Street investors with less than $1 million net worth. The highest percentage say they are Advisor-Assisted investors, meaning they regularly consult with an investment advisor but make most of the final decisions themselves.

Wells Fargo ranks among the nation’s top four banks. While not as important to them as an advisor’s investment track record, depth of products offered, and perceived trustworthiness and transparency, working a well-known brand or company is important to six-in-ten UHNW investors.



About the Author


Donald Liebenson

dliebenson@millionairecorner.com

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.