Affluent Asian Americans tend to lean heavily on their financial advisors, and are also more likely to seek out independent, fee-only advisors, according to a new study.

The survey by TNS Financial Services found that affluent Asian Americans-those with a net worth of $500,000 or more, excluding primary residence-are more focused on immediate financial goals, such as maximizing liquidity, financing their children's' education and minimizing taxes.

They are also more likely than Caucasians to seek out fee-based advisors, according to the survey. The survey found that 89% prefer independent advisors, and 92% prefer paying fees rather than commissions.

Among Asian Americans, according to the data, 30% depend on fee-based CFPs as their primary financial advisor, compared with 8% who rely on full-service brokers.

"Overall, affluent Asians are in a different life stage with different goals than those who are traditionally thought of as the affluent market," says Jeanette Luhr, vice president of TNS Financial Services. "They're younger, they're working, and many are starting businesses. Their needs closely resemble those of all entrepreneurs and small business owners-primarily because many are."

About 82% of Asian Americans rely heavily on their primary advisor for investment decisions, compared with 36% of Caucasians.

Asian American buying power in 2003 accounted for $344.2 billion, up 28% from 2000, according to TNS Financial Services. Caucasian spending increased 14% during that time.

The data regarding Asian American investors was culled from TNS's Affluent Market Research Program, which consists of a national sampling of 3,300 affluent households.