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FAs Aren’t Talking to Clients About What Clients Want to Discuss

By Alex Padalka June 28, 2018

Financial advisors may want to pay more attention to what their clients actually want to talk to them about: A recent survey by U.S. Trust found a substantial disconnect between the conversations clients want to have and the ones that they’re having with advisors.

The top two topics investors want to discuss with advisors are estate planning and trust options and implications, according to a recent survey of 892 high net worth and ultra high net worth Americans nationwide by U.S. Trust. But only 48% say they’re discussing estate planning and 35% report talking about trust options, according to U.S. Trust, which along with Merrill Lynch makes up the wealth management business of Bank of America.

The other main topics advisors are talking about with investors — tax planning, investment strategies and performance, and spending in retirement — don’t make the top five list of topics investors actually want to discuss.

Following estate planning and trusts, high net worth individuals are most interested in talking to their advisors about strategic philanthropy, the use of family wealth and how to teach their heirs financial skills, U.S. Trust found.

But despite what investors want to talk about, financial advisors may have to steer them to conversations they need to have, it appears.

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For example, only 35% of respondents believe they’re well-prepared financially for an expected health issue and only 57% feel well-prepared financially for a sudden death of the primary earner, according to the survey. And only 43% of respondents have given any thought to the needs of their aging parents, U.S. Trust found.