Advisor Insights

Do Advisors Know What Clients Want?

Steve Wendel

If you were to list out the characteristics that investors would find most valuable in an advisor, what would be at the top of your list? I bet it would be things like “helping me reach my goals,” “having the appropriate skills and knowledge for the job,” and “communicating well.” At least, those were the characteristics that scored highest on a recent study our team conducted. Your clients, or you personally, might have different priorities—nothing wrong with that—but these three would be a good guess for the average investor.

The question of what investors value is interesting in its own right. This study also looked at two additional questions: Do advisors accurately intuit what investors are looking for, and how do the perceptions of advisors and investors line up with research studies about the value of advice? In both cases, there’s a pretty significant disconnect. To better understand that, let’s learn more about the research.