At a time when John Q. Public views the nation's financial and political systems with high levels of cynicism and distrust, a recent survey of investors' trust in institutions and individuals found that people think highly of their financial advisors.

The survey, conducted late last year by John Hancock, showed that 82% of respondents gave their advisors high marks for trust. The surveyed investors also gave themselves high marks for their ability to choose the right advisor--76% said they're confident in their ability to assess financial advisors, while 74% believe they're capable of finding the right advisor. 

Given the spate of unsettling news in recent years about Ponzi schemes and other scams committed by a tiny number of advisors, the study suggests that investors might have read the stories and become more astute in evaluating advisors.

Adding to that level of trust are companies' financial strength (noted by 84% of respondents) and the length of time a company has been in business (noted by 61%).

Other institutions and leaders mentioned in the survey trailed advisors by a country mile. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke finished second, with just 31% of respondents finding him trustworthy. President Obama and the financial news media shared the bronze medal (both at 28%). 

Not surprisingly, perhaps, Congress was seen as the survey's least trustworthy entity. 

John Hancock polled 1,001 investors with at least $75,000 in household income and $100,000 in assets.