Millionaire Advisor Usage: Equity Investments


Nearly eight-in-ten Millionaires (78 percent) use a financial advisor, whether it be for a specific purpose, such as asset allocation or retirement planning to make all of their investment decisions.

Asset Allocation, Portfolios and Primary Providers, our wealth level study of Millionaire investors with a net worth up to $5 million (not including primary residence) finds that when it comes to their equity investments, a majority of Millionaires across age and wealth levels would rather do it themselves.

Roughly two thirds (73 percent) of surveyed Millionaires take responsibility for managing their stock investments, while six-in-ten take complete charge of their U.S. stock mutual funds, international stocks and domestic exchange trade funds (ETFs).

At least half take responsibility for managing their stock options/restricted right (57 percent), international/foreign mutual funds (54 percent), restricted stocks (52 percent) and international ETFs (50 percent).

A majority of Millionaires (58 percent) consider themselves fairly knowledgeable about financial products and investments with still a great deal to learn, according to our research. Among the primary benefits to using an advisor, they tell us, is the peace of mind in delegating responsibility for their investments to a professional. When analyzed by age groups and wealth level, we find telling differences in Millionaire willingness to give their financial advisors the primary responsibility in managing their various equity investments.

For example, Millionaire Millennials ages 35 and under are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to cede management of their equity investments to a financial advisor, especially when the degree of difficulty of those investments is perceived to be higher. For example, 52 percent of Millionaire Millennials report that their advisor is primarily responsible for managing their U.S. stocks, while 87 percent look to their advisor to manage their international/foreign mutual funds. In comparison at least four-in-ten of older Millionaires cede management of those specific investments to a financial advisor.

Excluding Millennials, willingness to delegate responsibility for managing equity investments varies with the type of equity investment. Baby Boomers and seniors tend to be more likely than their younger Millionaire counterparts to report giving their advisor primary responsibility for managing their stocks and international ETFs. .

Millionaires ages 45-54 are more likely than older Millionaires to allow their financial advisor primary responsibility to manage their domestic ETFs, international stocks, stock options/restricted right, and restricted stocks.

Wealth is not a significant factor in determining Millionaire usage of a financial advisor to manage their equity investments. One exception is in the management of U.S. stocks. Just 23 percent of study respondents with a net worth between $1 million and $1.9 million report their advisor is primarily responsible for managing their stocks, compared with 33 percent of those with a net worth between $3 million and $4.9 million.

Not surprisingly, the likelihood that a Millionaire will give his or her financial advisor primary responsibility for managing their equity investments increases significantly with advisor dependency.