Financial advisers not as popular with millionaires as you'd think

About half of wealthy clients wouldn't recommend their planner, while 20% are considering firing them

Aug 4, 2016 @ 5:00 am

By Liz Skinner

Millionaires are the bread-and-butter clients of financial advisers, but planners may not be doing enough to keep this important clan content, a new Fidelity survey suggests.

About 45% of millionaires would not recommend their financial adviser to friends or family members, according to a Fidelity Investments' survey of 1,287 affluent investors.

One in five said they are considering giving their adviser the boot.

“I think advisers should not feel overconfident just because their clients aren't telling them they are dissatisfied,” said Bob Oros, head of the registered investment advisor segment at Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions.

(More: Look for these traits in millennials to find your next millionaire clients)

With so many discontented millionaire investors out there, advisers should be regularly asking their clients for feedback and communicating with them on the client's terms, he said.

“Assuming everything is OK makes an adviser vulnerable,” Mr. Oros said.

Advisers should create a client experience that leads to a deep connection between them. The client should look forward to sitting down with their adviser or talking with them on the phone.

(More: Advisers need to stay on top of tax game as IRS eyes audits for millionaires)

Regular and varied interactions with clients over the year can help an adviser build those friendship bonds, the way someone might talk on the phone for 20 minutes with a friend one day and engage in a two-minute text exchange with them a couple months later, he said.

Advisers also score best with millionaire investors when they have created a full financial plan for them that is focused on achieving the client's personal goals, the survey data showed.

Having technology that can illustrate clients' progress toward attaining their goals also can help, according to the survey released Thursday.

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