Financial advisors are more critical to investor satisfaction in the financial crisis than ever, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study released Tuesday.
Thirty percent of investors ranked the financial advisor as the most important aspect of overall investor satisfaction, an increase from 22 percent in 2008.
“As investors become increasingly uneasy amid current market conditions, they’re more often looking to their financial advisors for reassurance and guidance,” said David Lo, director of investment services at J.D. Power and Associates. “As investment performance tends to be a relative and subjective measure, it’s more important that the financial advisor manages investors’ expectations of investment performance.”
Investors have dismissed performance as an indicator of a successful client-advisor relationship as it accounts this year for only 15 percent of overall satisfaction, compared with 24 percent in 2008.
Those looking to increase satisfaction among their clients might consider talking to them more. The study revealed improved communication – In particular, proactively contacting investors to set or refresh a comprehensive financial plan, thoroughly explaining fees and providing clear explanations regarding the reasons for investment performance – may have a substantial positive impact on satisfaction.