Less Than Half of High Income Investors Credit Advisors for Wealth Accumulation


Less than half of high net income investors credit their advisors as a factor in obtaining wealth, although the greater the income level, the more credit they give to their advisors.


Spectrem’s report Financial Attitudes of Wealthy Investors Based on Income shows that 35 percent of investors credit the advice of advisors as a factor in obtaining their wealth. That number increases to 44 percent among those with net income of $750,000 or more. Factors that are more prevalent among investors are hard work (93 percent), education (80 percent), frugality (75 percent), smart investing (73 percent), taking risks (52 percent), and being in the right place at the right time (39 percent).


Twenty-five percent of investors say they do not use advisors of any sort, although that is truer of investors with less than $250,000 in net income than those with more. Forty-percent of investors with less than $100,000 in net income, as well as those with $750,000 or more in net income, consider themselves self-directed investors, meaning they make their own investment decisions without the assistance of an advisor.


It is believed low income investors avoid advisors because of the fees they are charged, or they don’t feel they have sufficient assets to warrant the use of a financial advisor. The high income investors might not use advisors because of perceived high levels of confidence regarding their investment knowledge.


Between 8 and 11 percent of investors consider themselves advisor-dependent, with the number ranging based on net income level. Investors with between $250,000 and $750,000 in net income see themselves (between 35 and 38 percent) as event-driven investors, meaning they used advisors for special needs such as retirement planning.


Eleven percent of investors admit to wishing they had used a financial advisor to a greater degree prior to the economic collapse of 2008. But three percent said they wished they had used an advisor to a lesser extent, and seven percent said they wished they used a different advisor during that time.


Most investors are satisfied with their financial advisor, even though they have great expectations of their performance, especially in the area of communication. Investors with net annual income ranging from under $100,000 to $750,000 or more, advisor satisfaction ranged from 67 percent to 72 percent depending on income level. The higher income levels reported the lowest satisfaction rate.


Even in regards to the recommendations made by advisors during the recent recession, satisfaction dipped no lower than 60 percent. Sixty-eight percent of investors with net income of under $100,000 reported satisfaction with their advisors’ recommendations during the recession.


Satisfaction was highest in regards to responsiveness to requests for information and advice, reaching 81 percent for those investors with less than $100,000 income.