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Survey: Clients Who Get Holistic View Refer More Business, Fire Fewer Advisors

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Investors who receive a holistic view of all of their assets are more likely to refer their advisor to prospects than are those who receive less comprehensive service, new research reveals.

ByAllAccounts, Woburn, Mass., and Paladin Registry of Financial Professionals, Lincoln, Calif., published this finding in a survey that explores how investors form and maintain relationships with advisors. The companies conducted the national online survey of 195-plus investors in December of 2011, the respondents including mostly adults ages 51-65 (45.7%) and over 65 (29.9%).

The survey finds that more than half of investors (54.2%) who receive a holistic view of their assets have referred their advisor. This contrasts with one-third of advisors (33.3%) who had given their advisor a referrals. 

A holistic view, the survey says, includes a review of all client assets (i.e., 401(k)/403(b), 529 and pension plans, individual retirement accounts, trusts, annuities and life insurance, plus taxable savings accounts).

Investors who receive a holistic view, the survey observes, are more likely to experience a higher level of service than those without a holistic view. Among the categories of service polled: understanding financial goals and concerns (98.3% of clients who receive a holistic view responded affirmatively versus 71.8% of clients who receive a non-holistic view); developing a financial, retirement or estate plan (67.8% versus 10.3%); and providing 24/7 monitoring of assets (27.1% versus 15.4%).

The survey adds that nearly all clients who receive a holistic view (98.3%) are either very satisfied (47.5%)  or somewhat satisfied (50.8%) with their current advisor. This contrasts with 69.2% of clients who receive a non-holistic view (15.4% very satisfied and 53.8% somewhat satisfied).

More than six in ten investors are considering firing their advisors within the next 12 months. But the report notes that client who receive a holistic view are 42.3% less likely to fire their advisor next year than those who don’t. 

The survey discloses that more than 4 in 10 investors found their advisor through a referral from a friend or respected associate (39.5%), CPA or attorney (6.2%). More than one in seven (14.7%) found their advisor through an Internet search.

More than 50% of the investors have not given a referral because either the advisor hadn’t asked for one (25.8%) or had not earned the right to receive one (also 25.8%). 


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