Advisors’ relations with wealthier clients came through the downturn largely intact, a new survey by Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, finds.
Respondents to the annual Phoenix Wealth Survey this year said they are using financial advisors more and feeling better about dealing with them. In fact, 79% said they are receiving financial guidance from a professional regularly, up from 73% last year.
The tough economy appears to have pushed many clients a little closer to their financial advisors, the survey also showed.
The crisis did strain relations between some clients and advisors, but the distrust and doubt seen in Phoenix’s survey last year appears to be subsiding.
For instance, whereas 13% of affluent investors last year told Phoenix they would look for a new advisor in the next 12 months, the number expecting to look for fresh financial help fell to 9% this year.
Meanwhile, those describing themselves as “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their financial advisor rose this year to 58%, from 52% last year.
Many affluent investors surveyed this year felt less wealthy than they did before the recession hit, although the number reporting this feeling has abated since 2009. Phoenix found 52% felt less wealthy in 2010 than they did last year, which actually was a significant improvement on the 74% who in 2009 reported feeling less wealthy than they did the year before.
“The big finding this year is a bounce-back,” says Walter H. Zultowski, senior advisor to Phoenix and author of its wealth survey. Although still “slightly negative,” the survey found affluent Americans “cautiously optimistic–and with ‘cautiously’ underlined,” he says.
All told, 92% of high-net-worth individuals responding to the Phoenix survey described their personal economic situation as “comfortable” to “extremely well off,” up from 90% last year but down from 94% the year before that.
Long-term confidence among the wealthy also gained, with 90% in 2010 describing themselves as “moderately” to “extremely” secure, compared to 87% who described themselves that way last year–although down from 94% who had said they felt secure in 2008.
Wealthy individuals also are feeling a little better about the economy, Phoenix found. Although 75% described themselves as “concerned” to “extremely concerned” about the nation’s economy, this was down from 88% who felt that way in 2009.
The percentage describing themselves as pessimistic about the economy fell to 51% this year, from 58% in 2009.