Doctor or Financial Adviser: Which is Trusted Most?

By US Daily Review Staff.

The John Hancock Trust Survey™ has found that investors have a higher level of trust in their financial advisors than in their primary doctor or accountant. The recent survey showed that – out of a list including financial advisor, primary doctor, accountant, contractor/handyman, boss, and real estate agent – investors said they “trust strongly” their advisor (84 percent), followed by primary doctor (79 percent) and accountant (74 percent).  Contractors had a 52 percent “trust strongly” ranking, with bosses coming in at 49 percent and real estate agents at 43 percent.

When asked about the most important factors inspiring trust in financial advisors, respondents said clear explanations of investment recommendations and being knowledgeable and timely about products and trends were the most important (both 54 percent), followed by disclosure on how the advisor is compensated (51 percent) and quickly answering questions (49 percent). Less important, investors said, were factors such as an advisor who is recommended by friends or family (21 percent), who offers user-friendly tools and calculators (16 percent), who has an informative website (11 percent), and who is involved in the local community (five percent).

Being difficult to contact or unresponsive was the reason most often cited for lack of trust in a financial advisor (25 percent). Bad investment advice (13 percent) and lacking a personalized approach (12 percent) were also cited as major factors in investors losing trust in an advisor.

The findings were drawn from the John Hancock Trust Survey™, which polled mass affluent investors (household income of at least $100,000, investable assets of at least $200,000) in mid-April 2012.

“The first time we surveyed investors on the subject of trust, at the end of 2011, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that investors consistently gave very high trust ratings to their advisors, much more in fact than to other individuals and institutions,” said David Longfritz, Chief Marketing Officer for John Hancock.  “So we decided to ask about trust in advisors compared with other important figures. The results show that the bond of trust between investors and financial advisors is as strong, or stronger, than with most other professionals in an individual’s life.  That is quite a statement given the difficult economic times we have all been through.”

Longfritz added:  “Clearly, investors value excellent communication skills and product knowledge, and depend on these factors in assessing their level of trust in their advisors.”

About the John Hancock Trust Survey™

The John Hancock Trust Survey™ is an online survey conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,005 investors were surveyed between April 16 and April 24, 2012. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now’s online research panel.  To qualify for the survey, respondents were required to be age 25 or older, participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision-making process, and have a household income of at least $100,000 and assets of $200,000 or more.

The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey’s qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.  Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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