For those who think financial advice is commoditized, think again. A new report from the research and consulting firm Advisor Impact found that nine out of 10 clients said the advice they received played an important or critical role in meeting their financial goals.
The report, titled “The Rules of Engagement” and sponsored by Genworth Financial Wealth Management, contained surprisingly good news for advisors and the job they’re doing. It described 28% of clients as engaged clients, up from 24% a year ago. Some of its other findings:
• 79% of clients said they somewhat agreed (46%) or strongly agreed (33%) that their advisor added value over and above market performance
• 66% of clients said they somewhat agreed (43%) or strongly agreed (23%) that their advisor delivered value relative to fees charged
• 84% of clients said they had a high (31%) or very high (53%) level of trust in their advisor
• 64% of clients described their advisor as a strong leader, jumping to 84% among clients the report categorizes as engaged.
While the results of the study are positive, Advisor Impact CEO Julie Littlechild points out that there is work to be done. She notes that trust in the industry as a whole is low, despite high levels of trust in individual advisors (there is substantial untapped potential). Also, advisors only meet with 10% to 15% of the referrals that are made to them.
The latest report draws on data collected through Advisor Impact’s Economics of Loyalty research, launched in 2008 and now being conducted annually in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.