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Advisor Warning: When Millionaires Say ‘Call Me Right Back,’ They’re Not Kidding

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Advisors: drop what you’re doing right now and call back that millionaire who just left you a voicemail.

That’s the advice to advisors from a new report showing that 40% of millionaires expect a callback within two hours—with 14% wanting to hear from their advisors within the hour.

Altogether, 72% of investors with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million, not including primary residence, want to hear back from their advisors within 12 hours of their initial call, according to “Millionaire Investor 2010,” a report released Tuesday by Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets that has been studying investors for the past 20 years.

Not returning calls in a timely manner ranked as the No. 1 reason for changing advisors, cited by 73% of millionaires.  In contrast, 57% said not providing good ideas and advice was a key reason for changing advisors.

“Advisors who don’t respond promptly to their millionaire clients’ calls are playing with fire,” said Spectrem President George H. Walper Jr. (left) in a statement. “Nearly three-quarters of millionaire clients expect to hear back within 12 hours of placing a call to their financial advisor, making it a big mistake to wait until the following day.  Indeed, slow callbacks rank as the No. 1 reason millionaires switch advisors.  It’s also a very simple one to address.”

Similar standards apply to e-mail.  More than half, or 56%, of millionaires want their advisors to respond to e-mails within 12 hours.  Nearly one in four, or 24%, expects a reply within two hours of pushing the "send" button.

Additional insights from the study are available on Spectrem’s newly launched website, Millionaire Corner.

Read about a Spectrem report on wealthy investors’ return to the stock market at