What Do High Net Worth Clients Want From Their Advisors?

What Do High Net Worth Clients Want From Their Advisors?

From the Millionaire Corner

What do high net worth investors really want from their financial advisors? A lot, according to Millionaire Corner research that shows high net worth investors have very specific financial needs and desires.


 A recent study by Millionaire Corner revealed that 57 percent of the high net worth – those with investable assets of $5 million to $25 million - consult with a financial professional to some degree. The vast majority (80 percent) are satisfied overall with their advisor, giving higher satisfaction ratings than less affluent investors.  About two-thirds of investors with a net worth of $100,000 to $1 million report being satisfied with their advisors.

 High net worth investors take selecting an advisor very seriously, and put the highest premium on honesty and trustworthiness (99 percent). The investment track record of an advisor is important to 93 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors, as is transparency.

 What would make a high net worth investor switch advisors? Fifty-seven percent said they would leave an advisor who did not return phone calls in a timely manner.  For 42 percent of high net worth investors “timely” means in less than two hours! The wealthier an investor, the higher the expectation for a near- immediate return phone call: More than half (51 percent) of investors with $15 million to $25 million desire a return phone call within two hours.

 Nearly half of high net worth investors would like their advisors to reach out to them once a month, while one-third would like to be contacted quarterly. A small share, 4 percent , would like to have annual contact. (To learn more about the high net worth mindset, see our related story High Net Worth Investors Have Their Own Brand of Worry.)

 High net worth investors are generally comfortable with the fees that they pay an advisor (67 percent), but they have preferences as to how the fees should be structured. Almost all high net worth investors (95 percent) demonstrate an understanding of fee structures. Two-thirds prefer paying fees for financial or investment advice, rather than having the fees built into the cost of the investments. (High net worth investors can be savvy, hands-on investors, according to our research.)

 High net worth investors also appear to prefer close contact with a single advisor. Fifty-nine percent of these investors prefer to have only one person with whom they consistently deal, with an additional 35 percent wanting that key person but also looking for an additional member of the team to contact in when their advisor is not available.

 With such high expectations, many advisors worry about being able to retain their high net worth clients. They need not fear. More than half of high net worth investors surveyed have been with their advisor for six years or longer and 84 percent of investors surveyed have not changed any of the financial institutions they have used in the past year.

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