News, Analysis, and Research for the Retirement Planning Industry

When Uncle Bill Talks, People Listen

In Uncategorized on 1 February 2011 at 4:52 pm

New research from the Sun Life Financial appearing in the current Life&Health Advisor reports that Americans are more likely to get financial advice from family members and friends (43% and 39%, respectively), than a financial advisor (36%).

Though financial advisors are about even with friends and family for respondents age 40-49 and are clearly the leading source of advice for respondents over age 50, they garner no more than a 45% share (for respondents age 60-69).

While there is, as Wes Thompson, President of Sun Life Financial U.S, points out “unprecedented opportunity for advisors to showcase their skills”, in order for advisors to take advantage of the opportunity, they need to understand why are not more investors working with advisors.

Sun Life’s findings of financial advisor usage (36%) were nearly identical to a study done by String Financial (and this blogger) in which 37% of respondents reported to working with a financial advisor. The reasons respondents to the String Financial survey gave for going it alone:

  • 24% of respondents cited “confidence issues”; either lacking confidence in their ability to evaluate a financial advisor, or they did not think a financial advisor would be interested in working with them because of their portfolio size
  • 43% did not think they needed a financial advisor
  • 19% plan to consult a financial advisor but had not gotten around to it yet

The good news from the String Financial study is that almost 45% of respondents not working with a financial advisor expressed a desire tor work with one.

And the most discouraging finding from the Sun Life study? Only 10% of respondents cited blogs as a source of investment advice. Though a bit hurt at this slight, I will share my can’t-miss-investment opportunity for 2011: Alpaca Breeding. You’re welcome.


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