A majority of investors express they are comfortable with the fees they pay their advisors.
There are aspects of the advisor-investor relationship that test the dynamic regularly, including the cost of service and maintaining appropriate contact.
But for many investors, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.
Spectrem’s third quarter wealth segmentation study Advisor Relationships and Changing Advisor Requirements, asked investors to compare their concern over the fees they pay advisors with how well their investments are doing. What the report showed was that for a significant percentage of investors, fees are not a concern as long as assets are growing and the state of the portfolio is improving.
For instance, among Mass Affluent investors (with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million Not Including Primary Residence), 55 percent are comfortable with the fees they pay advisors, and 30 percent are unconcerned about their fees as long as their assets are growing. Among Millionaires with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million, the percentages are the same or higher: 55 percent and 33 percent. Among Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, the percentages are higher again: 61 percent and 35 percent.
The concern about fees drops again when investors rank themselves as advisor-dependent, meaning they call on their advisor to make all of their investment decisions. Among Millionaire investors who self-identify as Advisor-Dependent, 59 percent are unconcerned about their fees, and among Millionaire Advisor-Assisted investors (who consult with advisors on all decisions but make some decisions themselves), 46 percent are satisfied with their fees as long as performance is appropriate.
Those responses come despite the fact that more than half of all investors find the fees paid to a professional advisor to be expensive. It makes sense that 56 percent of Mass Affluent investors would find advisor fees to be expensive, but even 52 percent of Millionaires and 52 percent of UHNW investors consider fees to be expensive.
There is a wide disparity related to how fees should be determined. Investors disagree on whether fees should be charged as product commissions, charged on a per transaction basis, or charged as a percentage of assets controlled.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.