Affluent Investors Happy with Their Adviser

More than three-quarters (79%) of affluent investors are satisfied with their financial adviser, according to a new quarterly survey by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Bank of America (BofA) said the “Affluent Insights Quarterly,” survey looks at the values, financial priorities, and concerns of affluent Americans; the challenges and opportunities they currently face; and their aspirations for the future. The survey was rolled out today as part of the bank’s efforts to re-launch the Merrill brand (see “Krawcheck Wants to Keep the Bull; Plans to Re-Launch Merrill Brand”).

The survey found that slightly less than half (48%) of surveyed affluent investors (having more than $250,000 in investable assets) currently work with a financial adviser, according to a release of the survey results. Eighty-four percent have been working with their current financial adviser for at least one year, and more than 27% have been working with the same financial adviser for more than 10 years. About three-quarters (73%) of respondents speak to their adviser on at least a quarterly basis.

Respondents said they expect their financial adviser to understand their personal values when it comes to investing (80%). Most affluent investors said their financial adviser is responsive to their requests (84%), is someone they trust (81%), understands their needs and values (84%), is proactive (77%), and offers personalized advice to address specific needs and challenges (78%), according to the survey.

Financial Concerns

The Merrill Lynch survey found that affluent investors are most concerned with rising health care costs or expenses (75%). They are also concerned with the impact of the economy on their ability to meet financial goals (58%), preserving an inheritance for children and/or grandchildren (54%), and the current state of their retirement plans (50%).

However, concerns differed by age. Younger respondents (age 18 to 34) are most concerned about the economy’s impact on their financial goals (74%) and the cost of oil (74%). Those age 35 to 54 demonstrated the most concern with the state of their retirement plan (62%) and preserving their inheritance (67%). Respondents 55 and older were most concerned with the possibility of inflation (57%).

On behalf of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Braun Research conducted the phone survey of 1,000 affluent Americans between August 29 and September 14.