Financial advisors take note. Main Street investors want some of that personalized service typically reserved for ultra high net worth investors. Why does that matter? What Main Street investors lack in assets, they make up in numbers.
Investors with $100,000 or more in investable assets account for 36.7 million Americans, according to the 2012 Affluent Market Insights published by Millionaire Corner. And, about two-thirds of the investors with up to $1 million in investable assets use a financial advisor to some degree, as do three-fourths of investors with $1 million to $5 million in net worth, not including primary residence. What’s more, advisor usage is higher among these Main Street and Millionaire investors, than among the Ultra High Net Worth, those with $5 million to $25 million in investable assets. Our studies show that about 57 percent of high net worth investors use advisors.
A large majority of Main Street investors (70 percent) say that, overall, they are satisfied with their advisors, as are two-thirds of Millionaires. Still, financial professionals should not take these less affluent clients for granted. Most – 57 percent of Main Street Investors and 62 percent of Millionaires - say they would leave an advisor who failed to return phone calls in a timely manner – and they mean timely!
Approximately one-third of Main Street investors and one-fourth of Millionaires expect a return call within two hours or less. More than 20 percent of both groups are willing to wait three to five hours and one-third, until the next day.
Main Street and Millionaire investors are also unlikely to stick with an advisor who fails to provide good ideas or does not proactively contact them. What’s most important to investors who decide to change advisors?
Honesty and trustworthiness is the most important criteria for selecting an advisor among investors of all wealth levels. More than 90 percent of investors also evaluate an advisor’s track record, and whether the advisor provides transparency and keeps investors informed. About 60 percent also consider an advisor’s firm.
Most Main Street and Millionaire investors prefer dealing with one person, not a team, and expect to hear from their advisor on a regular basis. Nearly one-third of Main Street investors and 42 percent of Millionaires look for monthly contact.
Though investors are generally satisfied with their advisors, they’re not overwhelmingly likely to recommend their advisor to someone else. About half (51 percent) of Main Street investors and 60 percent of Millionaires indicate they would refer their advisor to a friend.
Advisors take heed. Those wishing to retain and recruit Main Street and Millionaire clients should treat them the way they want to be treated – like the high net worth clients they’re aspiring to become.