The overwhelming majority of high-net-worth clients retain the first advisor they meet with, according to a new survey by Dynasty Financial Partners.

"It's an extraordinary finding,” said Shirl Penney, CEO of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based network of some 319 financial advisors at 49 different firms nationwide, in a statement. “It's like buying the very first house you look at.”

The survey, conducted in partnership with Absolute Engagement between April 20 and May 1, polled 1,000 clients with at least a half-million dollars in investable assets. Every respondent was working with a financial advisor.

Fifty-seven percent of them responded to the question, “With how many advisors did you have a conversation prior to hiring your current advisor?” by saying they had only spoken to their current advisor.

The researchers concluded that these respondents had not shopped around at all.

The revelation, said Penney, underscores “the need for high-net-worth families to conduct appropriate due diligence.” Clients should choose advisors who are a good fit, with the right experience to handle each individual’s complex requirements, he continued. “Our goal is to ensure a wealthy individual or family can find a financial advisor who dovetails with their needs, personality, and vision,” he said. This is paramount, he added, “so you together may achieve your goals.”

What prompted people to seek out an advisor in the first place was also somewhat surprising. It took a “life event,” such as receiving an inheritance or a change in employment, to trigger the desire to seek professional financial advice in the first place. Otherwise, they would have remained on their own, managing their wealth without professional input or oversight, according to Dynasty.

But when they did seek professional advice, 70% of respondents between the ages of 45 and 54 received a referral from a friend, family member or colleague. Overall, 46% of clients surveyed found their advisor in this way. Those under 45, however, were three times more likely than their older counterparts (the exact percentage wasn’t specified) to rely on Internet searches, social media, blog posts, and other online sources for referrals.

Neither seems ideal, said Penney. “Relying on your friends and family for referrals may not be the wisest strategy for these wealthy investors, as everyone’s circumstances and needs are unique,” he explained.

Many high-net-worth clients aren’t fully aware of the availability or value of a highly customized relationship with an advisor, the researchers concluded.

Further highlighting what the researchers called the “due diligence gap” was the revelation that 61% of respondents under age 45 who had changed advisors in the past acknowledged a mismatch in skillset or expertise.

“By performing appropriate due diligence, wealthy families could select an advisor that is a better fit from the beginning, instead of expending a lot of time and energy with the wrong advisor,” said Penney.