It's National Financial Advisor Week. Are Millionaires satisfied with their professional advisors?
It seems like everyone or everything has its own day, from Blueberry Cheesecake (May 26) and Trail Mix (Aug. 31) to “Talk Like a Pirate” (Sept. 19). So why shouldn’t there be a week devoted to financial advisors? This week marks the inaugural observance of National Financial Advisor Week, which “celebrates the excellent work financial advisors do for investors,” according to the event website.
The Insured Retirement Institute, for one, is on board. In a statement, the organization saluted financial advisors who help Americans achieve financial security in retirement. “Many have sought and found peace of mind by planning with the help of a financial advisor,” the NRI proclaims. “When we study Americans’ retirement expectations, those who are planning for retirement with the help of a financial professional—by more than a two-to-one radio—are likely to be among those who are most confident in their retirement prospects.”
“Peace of mind” is among the top five benefits of working with an advisor according to 57 percent of Millionaire investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Three-fourths of Millionaires surveyed said that the primary advantage of working with a financial advisor is that it improves their knowledge of investing. Financial knowledge is highly prized by wealthy Americans, according to a Millionaire Corner research. More than half of Millionaires with investable assets up to $5 million consider having financial knowledge to be “extremely important.” In comparison, about one-fourth of investors with less than $100,000 say their financial knowledge is “extremely important.”
The next biggest advantages to working with a financial advisor, Millionaires state, are that it provides them with a wider range of investment opportunities (64 percent) and improves their investment returns (62 percent). Nearly half (48 percent) like being able to delegate responsibilities to an expert.
How does one go about finding a financial advisor that will be the best fit for them? Referrals from family or friends are typically the most common method. To best check out and advisor's qualifications, Spectrem's Millionaire Corner's Best Financial Advisors service offers client ratings for more than 2,100 financial advisors.
In choosing a financial advisor, what do Millionaires seek most? The leading factors are:
- Honesty and trustworthiness (95 percent)
- Transparency (92 percent)
- Investment track record (92 percent)
- Depth of products and services (86 percent)
- Fees or commissions charged (82 percent)
If financial advisors wish to keep their elite Millionaire clients, it is recommended they be responsive. Nine-in-ten Millionaires said they expect their advisor to respond promptly to their questions. Half said it is important that their advisor call them regularly.
So, how are financial advisors doing? Nearly three-fourths of Millionaires (73 percent) said they are satisfied overall with their financial advisor, up from 70 percent in 2009. Nearly eight-in-ten (78 percent) said they are satisfied with their advisor’s knowledge and expertise.
Just over half (53 percent) said they would follow their advisor if he or she left firm for which they work because they prize that relationship. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) have referred their advisor to others.
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.