NU Online News Service, Jan. 4, 11:05 a.m. – Affluent consumers research investment advice online, but they still want to meet with their financial advisors face-to-face, according to results of a new survey by Matthew Greenwald & Associates, Washington.

The polling firm conducted the survey for Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio.

The firm polled 500 professionals younger than 60 with annual incomes above $150,000. Respondents were medical doctors, attorneys, corporate executives, business owners and high-tech executives.

All study participants either currently engage in financial planning or plan to start in the near future, Greewald says.

Although half of the survey participants use the Internet for some type of financial planning activities, only 7% report that they prefer to use the Internet for financial planning advice, and only 17% report currently using it for that purpose.

More than 80% prefer face-to-face options for financial advice.

Sixty-two percent of survey participants say they check advice from advisors with their own research, even though 84% believe their advisors thoroughly research all options available.

Only 39% report seeking a second opinion on the advice of their advisors; 87% report they are confident their advisor presents an objective analysis that fits their personal situation versus what will earn the advisor the most money.

Those who reported using the Internet for financial planning are most likely to use it for: researching specific investments (74%); tracking investment portfolios (55%); doing general research on financial planning (53%); performing stock market or other investment trades (45%).

In addition, 20% reported using the Internet to communicate with their advisor. Only 6% reported going online to purchase an insurance product.