Fidelity Investments announced on Thursday the results of its third Insights on Advice survey. The report found that millionaire investors and financial professionals differ on three key issues. First, millionaires are more bearish on the market than other advisors and brokers. Second, millionaires are twice as likely as brokers or advisors to prefer e-communications and texting. Finally, brokers and advisors plan to weight emerging and international markets and annuities more heavily in their portfolios.
Financial professionals are generally more confident about the economy
than millionaire investors. Brokers and advisors indicated higher levels of confidence than millionaires for the next 12 months across all indicators, including the economy, stock market, real estate, consumer spending and business spending.
Despite being more confident overall, brokers and advisors reported low levels of confidence in real estate, an opinion shared by millionaires. While both groups ranked their confidence in business spending and the stock market as the least of their concerns, this is where the disparity in opinion was largest.
Another area financial professionals and millionaire investors agree to disagree is in their investment plans. Both groups plan to increase their portfolio investments in the next year, but millionaires are looking at conservative investments, and are more interested in domestic investments. The groups differ vastly on annuities; 60% of brokers and advisors with millionaire clients said they will increase their investments in annuities, while just 13% of millionaires agreed. This disparity could be a problem for advisors, as the report found over half of millionaires want to work with someone who shares a similar philosophy on investing.
Where millionaires are confident, though, brokers and advisors are not. Less than half of financial professionals said they use or were willing to use “technology-enabled media,” like text messaging, smartphones and social media, compared with 85% of millionaires. Furthermore, two-thirds of millionaires said they would like to use technology-enabled media with their advisors. Geographically, this opens opportunities for advisors; 37% of millionaires said they would “definitely consider working with a non-local advisor.”
Sanjiv Mirchandani, president of National Financial, a Fidelity Investments company, stressed that advisors’ reluctance to adopt technology is costing them in time and money, as well as client satisfaction.