Fund Investors Say Advisers Made Difference

The extent to which investors delegate investment decisions to their advisers seems to shape how much investors value the relationship, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

Generally, fund investors who chose to work with advisers indicated that the relationship improved their chances of growing their money and gave them peace of mind about their investments, according to ICI’s latest “Investment Company Fact Book.” (See “ICI Puts Stats to Downturn’s Impact on Retirement Assets.”) Respondents cited several tangible benefits of the investor/adviser relationship, expressing the common theme that using professional financial advisers provided a level of expertise that enhanced their investment decisionmaking.

Seventy-one percent of shareholders with ongoing advisory relationships cited the need for guidance in understanding their total financial picture, while 74% wanted help with asset allocation, ICI said. Seventy-three percent also required explanations of the wide variety of investment options, and 71% wanted to make sure they were saving enough to meet their financial goals. Sixty-five percent cited making sure their estate was in order as a major reason for their advisory relationship, according to ICI.

ICI survey findings indicate that the more shareholders rely on their advisers for investment decisionmaking, the greater the value they place on the advisory relationship. For example, roughly three-quarters of shareholders who delegated or made investment decisions together with their advisers indicated that they used advisers for their financial expertise.

The The 2009 “Investment Company Fact Book” is available here.