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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Lone Investors

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Many affluent individuals still haven’t grasped the benefits of having professional advisors. In responding to the 2008 Phoenix Wealth Survey many millionaires described themselves as “financial lone rangers.” Half–up from 45% in 2007–say they “rarely seek professional advice when it comes to making major financial decisions,” and a record high 41% indicate that they currently do not have a primary financial advisor. According to Walter Zultowski, senior VP of research and concept development for Phoenix Companies, Inc., it’s not because those surveyed feel fully confident in their own abilities. In fact, 32% agreed strongly with the statement, “Lately, I’ve become confused about the best way to invest my money.”

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive in March 2008 and polled more than 1,900 people with $1 million or more in net worth (excluding their primary residence), did find that 89% of those with a primary financial advisor report being satisfied with the advisor, and that more than half (56%) have been with the same advisor for six or more years. Just 8% say they will be looking for a new financial advisor in the next 12 months.

The research also revealed a significant drop in how these wealthy people perceived their financial situation. Just 54% of respondents reported feeling wealthier in 2008, a significant decline from 81% in 2007, and the majority (58%) also say the U.S. economy is in a downturn and the worst is yet to come.



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