Faith in advisers soared after financial crisis

'Bull market' for advice as investors seek help recovering

Apr 3, 2013 @ 8:50 am

By Jason Kephart

The financial crisis may have wreaked havoc on people's portfolios, but it strengthened their relationship with advisers.

Financial advisers are more trusted by investors today than banks, insurance companies, investment firms and the government, according to an online survey of 1,150 investors by Fidelity Investments.

“The last several years have been a wake-up call,” said Scott Couto, president of Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions.

“Financial matters are complicated for many people,” he said. “The same way we rely on attorneys and doctors, an increasing number of investors are looking for help managing their long-term financial future. It's created a bull market for financial advice.”

A third of the investors surveyed in mid-February said they had reached out to a financial adviser during the crisis and a quarter said they rely on their adviser more than in the past, according to the survey. The survey was conducted using a national sample of investors over 25.

Of those investors that use a financial adviser, 90% ranked them as helpful during the crisis, more so than any other option.

Investors also took more of their financial well-being into their own hands as a result of the crisis.

Half of the respondents said they've reduced their personal debt since the crisis. Two out of five reported increasing their retirement savings and increasing their emergency funds.

As a result of the increased savings and decreased debt, 55% said they feel better prepared for retirement today than before the financial crisis.

“We saw people take more accountability for the things they can control,” Mr. Couto said.

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