A survey of more than 800 independent financial advisors reveals that most advisors spend less than half of their work time with their clients and more than two-thirds do not have a clear understanding of the value of their business.
   The survey conducted by Curian Capital, a registered investment advisor based in Denver that provides fee-based, separately managed accounts, was done to determine what issues were of most concern to advisors.
   "Most surveys have a lot of wirehouse representatives who respond," says Michael Bell, Curian president. "We focused our survey on independent financial advisors because their issues are different."
   According to the survey, only 12% of advisors spend half or more of their working time with the clients. A full 83% feel that obtaining "better" clients, meaning ones that better fit the products and services the advisor offers, is their biggest concern. Of almost equal concern is improving efficiency, building value in the practice and offering value-added services.
   The survey also shows 70% of advisors have not analyzed what makes a client profitable for their business.
   "Advisors are looking for guidance in managing their practices," says Dan Maurer, Curian senior vice president of marketing and practice management.
   Curian, which is one of the fastest-growing providers of separately managed accounts, was created four years ago and now has $3 billion in assets under management. The organization stresses education to help advisors transition from commissions to a fee-based practice. Curian provides separately managed accounts that are accessible to the typical mainstream investor with as little as $25,000 to invest.