NU Online News Service, July 9, 11:04 a.m. – High-income investors say they care about as much about financial advisors’ efforts to communicate as they do about investment returns, according to results of a new survey by Matthew Greenwald & Associates, Washington.

When Matthew Greenwald interviewed 500 high-income professionals, executives and business owners, it found that only 56% had ever switched their main source of financial planning help, and only 9% had changed advisors more than three times.

Although 54% of the participants who changed advisors said they did so because of problems with investment performance, the same percentage said they changed because their advisors did not communicate frequently enough, and 63% said they changed simply because the new advisors seemed more appealing.

Forty-five percent complained that the old advisors did not provide enough information or options, and 34% questioned whether the old advisors had clients’ best interests in mind.

The Matthew Greenwald survey, sponsored by Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, confirms results of a similar survey released in June. That survey, conducted by Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, N.Y., and sponsored by The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, also found that high-income investors claim to be as interested in advisor communications efforts as they are in investment returns.

Participants in the Matthew Greenwald survey expressed a high level of satisfaction with their current financial advisors.

Eighty-six percent said they were confident that their advisors present objective analysis, 85% were confident that their advisors always have their best interests in mind, and 83% were confident that their advisors do a good job of staying in touch.

The participants also reported making much heavier use this year of all types of professional financial advisory services, but especially of the services of insurance agents. Twenty-seven percent of the participants say they are now using insurance agents for financial planning, up from 7% in 2001.

Despite the volatility of the stock market, 54% of the participants say they are now using stockbrokers or national brokerage firms, up from 32% last year.