Upper-income families are growing more worried about their money and, as a consequence, are growing less satisfied with their financial advisors. And when choosing financial advisors, they're subjecting their financial advisors to higher standards.
Those were some of the findings of a consumer survey by the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards, which believes it shows advisors need to adhere to a strict ethical code.
"Economically, it has been a challenging four years," says David Diesslin, chairman of the CFP Board's board of governors. "People have gone from tech-boom and living the good life to the tech-bust and postponing retirement ... Many Americans have put their financial advisors under the microscope and are looking for professional standards and advisors that live up to a code of ethics."
Possibly the most troubling sentiment for advisors was the survey's finding that 81% of respondents were either extremely or very satisfied with their advisors, which is down from 85% in a 1999 survey by the CFP.
The survey found that 75% of respondents believe "adherence to a code of ethics" is extremely important, which is up from 70% a year ago. Those who felt it was very important that advisors are "subject to disciplinary action by a peer review board" rose from 45% to 51% during the same period.
Respondents showed overall worry about finances, with 39% saying they are worried about lack of control over their finances, going into debt, their families' financial future and not having enough money for retirement.
The survey was conducted November and December in 2003. It consisted of written responses from 1,122 households with average incomes of $115,000.