Your Advisor or Their Staff?


Many financial professionals utilize a team-based approach to their client management.  Others utilize office staff to help with non-financial matters, such as setting up appointments or answering the phone.  Investors have their own opinions as to whom they would prefer to hear from, and those attitudes vary significantly based on the purpose of the communication with the advisor and their office.

When investors are calling to set up a meeting, 40 percent are okay with an individual from the financial advisor’s team responding to the request, while 60 percent would still prefer to hear from their advisor, according to recent research from Spectrem Group.  Thirty-seven percent of investors are okay with speaking to their advisor’s team when requesting a distribution from their IRA account.

For topics that are more financial, such as questions or concerns about investments, or a question about the advisor/investor relationship, it is understandable that investors are more likely to prefer to hear directly from their financial advisor.  Eighty-seven percent of investors would prefer their financial advisor returns their call regarding questions or concerns about their investments or the stock market, and 82 percent would prefer to hear from the advisor regarding any question about their advisor/client relationship. 

Are these preferences impacted by age, wealth, or occupation?  Age and wealth only make slight differences in whom investors would prefer to return their phone call.  Millennial investors are slightly more likely to be okay with their advisor’s team returning their call if it is regarding tax questions or investment concerns, yet they would prefer to hear from their advisor when setting up a meeting.  Investors at higher levels of net worth are more likely to prefer to speak directly with their advisor regarding setting up a meeting, their investments or the markets, yet they are more comfortable with their advisor’s team than less wealthy investors if the call is about requesting a distribution or directing a purchase or a sale.
Occupation, however, shows more significant differences in the preferences of who returns phone calls.  Professionals would prefer to hear from their advisor directly regarding setting up a meeting, while Senior Corporate Executives and Managers are more comfortable hearing back from the advisor’s team regarding setting up a meeting or requesting an IRA distribution.  Investors in the field of Information Technology are the most comfortable with the financial advisor’s team responding to their call, regardless of the purpose of the call.

Investors need to clearly communicate with their advisor whom they expect to return their phone calls regarding a wide variety of topics to ensure they receive a return call from the correct individual.  This communication allows for an advisor to meet the needs of their clients.