A Public Opinion Survey
Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™
Boston-based Dalbar company is a surveyor of financial information for the mutual fund industry. About a decade ago Dalbar released a nine-part survey on personal financial advice to measure the level of demand for advice that existed back then and to ascertain consumer preferences, expectations, beliefs, and sources for personal financial advice.
Now, please allow me to suggest that all FA colleagues use the results to evaluate your current practices and planed initiatives to determine how current thinking must change to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs. And so, we now share some of the results of this survey.
Customer Expectations of Personal Financial Advisors
• Investors and prospective investors expect their personal financial advisors to educate them about investments and to minimize the taxes they pay.
• Unrealistic expectations present a major problem to personal financial advisors. The expectations for advisors to produce the highest returns, prevent investing mistakes, and avoid losses set the stage for disappointment in the future, thus undermining the public trust of advisors.
• Advertising, training, compensation, and industry practice is out of step with customer expectations. This survey indicates that emphasis in all these areas should be directed to vastly simplify education, increase use of tax saving strategies, and help investors to define financial goals.
Demand for Personal Financial Advisors
• Of the consumers surveyed, 89% report the need for a personal financial advisor for assets of $100,000 or more. This contradicts the notion that a growing number of people prefer to do-it-themselves. This finding presents the advisor with an opportunity: The demand for advice is higher than the market would suggest.
• The demand for advice, as measured by the Advice Demand Index (ADI) is highest among those who prefer to pay for advice through commissions. The ADI is highest for commission-payers at 93%, followed by those who prefer to pay a percentage of their assets (92.5%). Flat-fee payers have the lowest demand for advice, at just 88.7%.
Importance of Personal Financial Advice Functions
• Consumers unanimously agree that the ability of their advisor to provide clear explanations of investment alternatives, to be available when needed, and to keep them informed of their investment status are the most important financial advice functions.
• Consumers revealed that the delivery of a comprehensive written financial plan is the least important function that their advisor performs.
This report was not physician specific so one wonders how applicable it is to medical providers; especially the “no-desire” for a financial plan part?
And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Are the results still valid today; or after the 2008-09 “flash crash”? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.
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