While a larger percentage of clients say they like and trust their advisors, a significant minority say they might take their assets elsewhere.
According to a study conducted by Northstar Research Partners and Sullivan, a communications strategy and design company, investors say their trust levels across institutions in general--and even more so for the specific firms and advisors they currently work with--have jumped considerably since 2009.
Among respondents, 64% said they currently work with a financial advisor, and 51% of them said they're "very satisfied" with their advisor.
Trust levels toward advisors leapt from 61% in 2009 to 74% in 2011, and 64% said they trust personal communications from their advisor--that's more than three times greater than any information source.
But survey results found that 25% of respondents are considering moving assets from their advisor in the next year. It seems that frequency of contact between advisor and client is the key to customer satisfaction. According to the survey, only 24% of investors who have contact once per year or less are "very satisfied" with their advisor, while 63% of those with more frequent contact are "very satisfied."
On the institutional front, 43% said they're "very satisfied" with their primary financial institution. But 36% said they're considering moving assets away from their primary financial institution in the next year. Younger investors, women, and those with assets in the $250,000 to $500,000 range may be particularly likely to move their assets because they're not impressed with their firms' service, according to the survey. Among people who are consider moving, they were most likely to be seeking "better investment performance."
The study shows just 19% of those surveyed are "very confident" about meeting their financial and retirement goals. Among people who fall into the not confident category, 90% said their biggest concern is retiring comfortably. Other major concerns, in descending order, center on maintaining a comfortable lifestyle, leaving a legacy and funding a child's education.
The Rebuilding Investor Trust study polled 1,290 households with at least $100,000 in investable assets, excluding real estate and workplace retirement plans. Fifteen percent had assets worth more than $1 million.