Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ

Investors Trust Their FAs, But Want Them to Listen

By Alex Padalka September 26, 2017

The majority of investors trust their financial advisors more than anyone else — including themselves — when it comes to their investment decisions, according to a recent survey from Natixis. Nonetheless, advisors could still improve how they retain their clients, starting with better listening, according to the survey.

Eighty-eight percent of investors trust their financial advisor in investment decisions, compared to 87% who trust themselves, 74% who trust financial advisors in general, 73% who trust industry pros, 72% who trust family and friends, and 62% who trust the financial media, according to Natixis’s survey of 750 U.S. investors, about evenly split between millennials, Generation X and baby boomers, with $100,000 or more in investable assets.

Investors like their advisors so much that 60% would go with their advisor if they left the firm, Natixis found.

Advisors, however, could do a better job keeping their investors happy, and not just by delivering performance or helping them with taxes. The survey found that, first and foremost, investors want their advisors to listen more, according to the survey. They also wish their advisors were better at recommending investments that align with their personal values. Further down the list but still high up is a clearer explanation of fees, and help talking to other family members about financial planning.

Advisors may also want to refocus their marketing strategies. The survey found referrals from friends, relatives and colleagues are used by 31% of investors to find a financial advisor, compared to 21% who used a referral from another professional advisor, 10% who found them on the internet and 9% whose advisor is a friend, colleague or relative.

Only 9% of investors found their advisors through social media, 5% received a cold call, 4% saw the advisor on the local news and just 3% found their advisor at an event or conference, according to the survey.