Investors trust their financial advisors as much as their personal doctor, but they cast a sceptical eye toward both fund companies and the financial media, according to an investor survey conducted for iShares funds, a division of Barclays Global Investors.
Seventy one percent of those surveyed either lack trust in-or are uncertain whether they can trust-the fund industry and 66% feel the fund industry does not take responsibility for investors' well being. At the same time, 73% feel the media sensationalizes issues and only 19% believe the media provides accurate information. And just 20% say the media does a good job of recognizing the importance of tax implications and fees on investment returns.
The survey, Measuring Affluent and High Net Worth Investor Expectations of the Investment and Financial Community, was conducted by Cogent Research. It polled 1,004 investors with at least $500,000 in investable assets, of which 70% have advisors and 30% don't.
While expressing a general distrust of the fund industry, 87% of investors have a high degree of trust in their financial advisor-a level comparable to the trust people show in their family physician. And 72% consider their advisors to be champions of their investment interests. Only 9% of those with advisors say they are likely to change advisors in the next year.
However, many are pessimistic about the near future-55% lack confidence that their investments will be safe and 51% feel their returns will be worse this year than last.
"The survey clearly indicates the need for all of us in the fund industry to be better," says iShares CEO Lee Kranefuss.