It’s long been known that advisors who boast one or more professional designations earn more than their non-certified counterparts. Evidently, one reason for this is that consumers favor insurance and financial service professionals for the perceived added value that comes with such designations.
According to a new survey from ORC International, more than 8 in 10 consumers (84 percent) believe that “certifications are important when choosing a financial advisor.” This preference is most pronounced among older boomers (ages 55-64) who are preparing for retirement: An overwhelming majority of them (91 percent) take educational designations into account.
Closely tied to the consumers’ preference for educational attainment is another desired attribute: Knowledge of financial planning. Roughly half of consumers (48 percent) look for such expertise when choosing an advisor. Attributes less frequently cited by consumers in the ORC survey are ethics (20 percent of respondents), years in the business (17 percent), an ability to offer a variety of financial products (11 percent) and “something else” (four percent).