Advisors just got a new arrow for their marketing quiver.

Investors working with financial advisors were more confident and prepared than their unassisted peers both during and after the financial crisis, according to a new study from Fidelity Investments.

Investors using an advisor said they felt more prepared both before the crisis (47%, vs. 37% for those not using an advisor) and after the crisis (66% vs. 53% for those without an advisor). 

Moreover, as a result of the crisis, almost a quarter of those surveyed said they now relied more on a financial professional than they did in the past.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

The new research offers advisors new talking points when working with clients and prospects, says Scott Couto, the president of Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions. "This survey gives advisors lots of statistics about how a financial-professional-assisted investor is more confident, more poised to benefit," he says. "There's an opportunity for the advisor to not only work within her existing book but also enter into some new relationships."

More positive news for advisors, says Couto, lies in responses showing investors are reducing debt and putting more money into workplace savings and retirement accounts. "I think advisors should be very encouraged by the increased engagement and the positive steps that [investors] are taking," he says.

POSITIVE FINDINGS

Fidelity's "Five Years Later" study surveyed about 1,150 U.S. investors to determine attitudes about the economy, investing and financial habits in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis, the company said.

Of the investors surveyed, 28% said they used at least one paid financial advisor.

Among the survey's other findings:

  • In what may be a reflection of individual wellbeing, respondents who use an advisor were more apt to say they feel the country’s economy is better than five years ago  (44% vs. 36% for those that don’t use an advisor).
  • During the crisis, respondents said their leading source of guidance was from a financial professional -- topping friends and family.

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