How Investors View Financial Advisors?


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.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: and

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Defining Health Level Seven [HL-7]

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What it is – How it works?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


HL7 is an international community of health care subject matter experts and information technology physicians and scientists collaborating to create standards for the exchange, management, and integration of protected electronic health care information. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Health Level Seven (HL7) standards developing organization has evolved Version 3 of its standard, which includes the Reference Information Model (RIM) and Data Type Specification (both ANSI standards).


The HL7 Version 3 is the only standard that specifically deals with creation of semantically interoperable health care information, essential to building the national infrastructure; HL7 promotes the use of standards within and among health care organizations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery for the benefit of all patients, payers, and third parties; uses an Open System Interconnection (OSI) and high level seven health care electronic communication protocol that is unique in the medical information management technology space and modeled after the International Standards Organization (ISO) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI); each has a particular health care domain such as pharmacy, medical devices, imaging, or insurance (claims processing) transactions. Health Level Seven’s domain is clinical and administrative data.

The Goals

Goals include:

  • develop coherent, extendible standards that permit structured, encoded health care information of the type required to support patient care, to be exchanged between computer applications while preserving meaning;
  • develop a formal methodology to support the creation of HL7 standards from the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM);
  • educate the health care industry, policymakers, and the general public concerning the benefits of health care information standardization generally and HL7 standards specifically;
  • promote the use of HL7 standards world-wide through the creation of HL7 International Affiliate organizations, which participate in developing HL7 standards and which localize HL7 standards as required;
  • stimulate, encourage, and facilitate domain experts from health care industry stakeholder organizations to participate in HL7 to develop health care information standards in their area of expertise;
  • collaborate with other standards development organizations and national and international sanctioning bodies (e.g., ANSI and ISO) in both the health care and information infrastructure domains to promote the use of supportive and compatible standards; and
    • collaborate with health care information technology users to ensure that HL7 standards meet real-world requirements and that appropriate standards development efforts are initiated by HL7 to meet emergent requirements.


HL7 focuses on addressing immediate needs but the group dedicates its efforts to ensuring concurrence with other U.S. and International standards development activities. Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Southern Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom are part of HL7 initiatives.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. 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.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact:


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