Wondering why people seek out financial advisers? The pros themselves can tell you — and one reason overwhelms all the rest.
More than 72% of financial advisers say retirement planning is the No. 1 reason new clients seek their services, according to a SmartAsset study of about 160 financial advisers.
Improving investment returns is the second-most common reason — cited by 30% of financial advisers as either the top or No. 2 priority.
According to financial advisers, the top reasons new and prospective clients seek them out are:
- Retirement planning: 72.26%
- Improving investment returns: 14.6%
- Saving for their first large purchase (such as a home): 5.84%
- Change in family situation (such as having kids, caring for parents): 3.65%
- Tax planning: 2.92%
- Legacy planning: 0.73%
While advisers no doubt are grateful for new clients, there are hints that these pros are somewhat frustrated by the expectations of those who seek their services.
About 55% of financial advisers say that prospective and new clients have unrealistic expectations in terms of investment returns. In fact, most advisers don’t believe goosing investment returns is the primary value they offer to clients.
Instead, more than 80% of advisers say developing a holistic personal financial plan is the biggest benefit they offer clients. By contrast, just 3% of advisers say improving investment performance is the best thing they bring to the table.
This mismatch between what clients expect of advisers and what advisers say they can deliver underscores the importance of hiring a financial pro who is the right fit for your wants and needs.
As we suggest in the story “How to Find the Right Financial Adviser“:
“You’ll want to talk to several before you make a decision; that’s how you’ll find the one who really stands out.”