February 6, 2018
Consumers have revealed they generally trust advisers and feel more secure in their own future after taking advice, according to a recent study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).
Of US consumers who have a financial adviser, 77 per cent feel more secure about their financial future, the study of over 2,000 Americans shows.
Trust in financial advisers is widespread among consumers, the research found, with 87 per cent of respondents indicating they hold some extent of trust in financial professionals and 53 per cent had ‘a moderate amount or great deal of trust’.
Advisers who are members of an industry association increase trust levels in the consumer, according to 35 per cent of respondents. Other influences to boost trust included connecting on a personal level with the adviser (56 per cent) and having at least a few years of experience behind them (54 per cent).
Although most consumers are indifferent to their adviser being male or female (82 per cent), almost one in five feel more comfortable with someone who is older than themselves (19 per cent).
“There is a major opportunity for advisors who can provide [millennials] with confidence about their financial future while emphasising shared values…”
For those already utilising the services of an adviser, three aspects they hoped to address were setting realistic goals (62 per cent) improving comprehension of complex financial matters (47 per cent) and checking their financial health (42 per cent).
MDRT President, James D. Pittman said along with technical knowledge, establishing trust with the client was a vital component to professional success.
“The results of this study show the greater importance of being trusted partners to our clients and providing the right guidance to help them feel more knowledgeable and confident,” Pittman said.
The results also indicated millennials (18-34 year olds) are well aware of the benefits in working with a financial professional, with 62 per cent of those who hadn’t yet sought out an adviser noting they would be more confident in their financial future if they did.
The majority of millennials (78 per cent) already receiving financial advice said they felt more confident about their financial future because of it.
“Understanding millennials’ priorities is vital in order to foster positive relationships with our next generation of clientele,” explained Pittman.
“There is a major opportunity for advisors who can provide them with confidence about their financial future while emphasising shared values, such as volunteerism,” he added.
Over a quarter of millennial respondents said their trust in financial professionals would rise if the adviser was involved in community or volunteer work.
The study was carried out by Harris Poll across more than 2,000 American adults, of which 700 use the services of a financial professional.