Three out of four U.S. consumers in a survey who worked with a financial advisor said they were more confident in their financial future as a result of the relationship, Million Dollar Round Table reported Tuesday.
MDRT, a global association of life insurance and financial services professionals, reported that 87% of survey participants had at least some trust in financial professionals and 53% had a moderate amount or great deal of trust.
Harris Poll conducted the online survey in August among 2,065 U.S. adults, including 754 who currently worked with a financial advisor, 263 millennials who did not work with a financial professional and 106 millennials who currently did so.
Asked what would make an advisor more trustworthy to them, 56% cited communication on a personal level. Fifty-four percent said they looked at years of work experience, and 35% membership in industry associations.
The vast majority of poll participants said they would have no gender preference if they were to hire a financial professional. Only a fifth said they would prefer to work with an older professional.
Some said they considered a dedication to social responsibility and contributions to local communities important. Twenty-six percent of millennials said they were more inclined to trust professionals who volunteer and are involved at the local level, compared with 14% of respondents 45 and older who said this.
“Consumers should seek advisors who match their personal values and preferences for communication style, experience level and association involvement,” MDRT’s president James Pittman said in a statement. “These factors will help develop a long-term professional and personal connection to set yourself up for success.”
Among respondents with an advisor, 63% said they had been working with the financial professional for five years or more, 24% of these for 15 years or more.
Planning With a Purpose
Overall, 62% of survey participants who currently worked with a financial professional reported that they did so to set realistic financial goals for themselves. In addition, 56% worked with a professional to set up a comprehensive plan and steps to achieve personal financial goals.
The survey found that 77% of those currently working with an advisor were confident in their finances as a result of the relationship.
Seventy percent of millennials who worked with an advisor said the aim was to set realistic financial goals, and 64% said it was to set realistic personal savings goals, such as saving for homes, cars or vacations.
As well, roughly half of millennials said they worked with a financial professional in the hope of developing an all-inclusive plan to reach their goals and better understand complicated financial matters.