Most financial advisors do an outstanding job of building and maintaining relationships with their wealthiest clients but all too often fail to deliver the full buffet of financial services these highly coveted and well-healed clients want and need.
That's the key conclusion drawn from the Dow Jones Affluent Investor Study, a biennial survey taken in October of 1,287 investors with more than $500,000 in investable assets.
While seven in 10 of these affluent investors said they're either "extremely" or "very" satisfied with their current advisor or wealth manager, they often seek out other professionals to help them out with other facets of their broader financial needs even though most -- if not all -- could be performed by their current advisor and his or her firm.
Tax strategies (17%), estate planning (14%) and emerging markets (13%) were among the topics and services that affluent investors said they're not receiving enough information or counseling about from their current advisor or advisors.
Add because so many wealthy investors -- almost half in fact -- already prefer to manage their own investment portfolios, it's incumbent upon financial advisors who have already managed to reel in these top-tier clients to ask the right questions to ensure they're providing all the investment products and services their customers desire.
"Advisors have clearly built strong relationships with many of their affluent clients but need to evaluate where they can provide additional value," Joe Cappitelli, vice president of Financial Markets at Dow Jones, said in the report. "Our survey identified topics clients want to know more about and the information sources they trust. This is information advisors can use to approach clients about products and services they want but may not be asking for up front."
When it comes to communicating with clients to inform, market or sell, newsletters are extremely popular with the ultra high net worth set. Seventy-seven percent of respondents who receive a newsletter said they read it regularly.
Among affluent investors who either eschew financial advisors altogether or hire them to only manage a portion of their assets, 41% use online and discount brokerages for their day-to-day investing. Thirty-one percent prefer a full-service financial services firm and 28% selected an independent advisor or firm to manage their money.
Most surprising, perhaps, was the revelation that one-third of these nearly 1,300 wealthy individuals said they had not developed a retirement plan with their financial advisor.