Most millionaires use a financial advisor, according to the High Net Worth Investor Study released March 19 by Boston-based Fidelity Registered Investment Advisor Group (FRIAG). The study profiled how millionaires use financial advisors, and assessed their confidence in the current economy and the economy a year from now for a new “analytical indicator, the Fidelity Millionaire Outlook,” according to the announcement.
While 70% of the 2,500 investors with assets of between $1 million and $10 million participating in the study have had an advisor since an average age of age of 43, that relationship isn’t always exclusive: just over a third, (34%) say they have “two or more” advisors. These relationships last an average of 10 years. Of the 30% that don’t currently have an advisor, nearly half said they plan to find an advisor within a year, and “more than a quarter of those are likely to use an independent advisor,” according to the study.
Of the millionaires who already have an advisor, 22% get advice from independent advisors, and they place more of their investable wealth with independent advisors than any other category of advisor, an average of 56% of their assets. Participants who selected independent advisors did so because they felt (73%) that independent advisors put the client’s “interests ahead of the firm’s;” made objective recommendations (68%); and did not push (61%) “a particular firm’s products.”
Overall, the millionaires who participated in the Study are positive in their outlook for five “Current Confidence” factors: “the stock market, consumer spending, the economy, business spending and the value of real estate.” The survey participants say they are much more “cautious” in their outlook for next year, though they appear to be treating that less-positive outlook as a potential buying opportunity, with only 6% saying they’d invest less in stocks next year, and 30% saying the would invest more in stocks. “What this shows,” says FRIAG Senior VP Emily Chien, in the announcement, “is that a tentative outlook by millionaires does not necessarily mean a reduction in investment activity.”