Not Enough Advisers Use Fiduciary Status as Selling Point

Half (51%) of advisers agree that having a fiduciary standard is an “extremely” or “very” big differentiator when attracting new clients, according to ByAllAccounts, Inc., an account aggregation firm.

A ByAllAccounts survey of 250 advisers also found that 27% are not mentioning fiduciary responsibility in their marketing materials. ByAllAccounts says these advisers are missing a growth opportunity in the high-net worth market.

“Fiduciary responsibility is about putting your clients’ interests first,” said Cynthia Stephens, vice president of marketing at ByAllAccounts. “Our research shows that reporting and advising on all of a client’s assets is one of the top three things two-thirds of advisers say is indicative of putting their clients’ interests first.”

Nearly 90% of advisers surveyed believe they are acting as a fiduciary on behalf of their clients. Among this percentage:

  • Forty-two percent view 100% of their clients’ total assets on a regular basis, including accounts that are held-away, such as 401(k)s
  • Fifty-three percent said they feel it is important to provide advice on retirement funds to put their clients’ best interests first;
  • In order to develop a full view of their clients’ life goals and financial situation 72% develop a financial plan; 69% have their client fill out a questionnaire; 54% use an investment policy statement; and 45% use account aggregation to gather all of their assets for reporting purposes.