Among financial services firms well known to investors, affluent investors have the most favorable impression of Fidelity, Vanguard and American Funds. This is according to a Phoenix Marketing International survey of 850 investors age 35 to 64 with household income and investable assets, excluding workplace retirement plans, of at least $100,000 conducted this past November.

In terms of brand recognition, Fidelity and Vanguard got top marks. Asked to name the top retirement product provider, respondents pointed to Prudential and John Hancock.

“Financial services firms offering products and services for retirement must be perceived as trustworthy, that they conduct their business with the highest ethical standards and are financially stable,” said Kristina Terzieva, a product manager with Phoenix. “They must also demonstrate that they are well positioned to weather the economic crisis and they care about their customers.”

Approximately 50% of investor households said they have experienced a moderately negative impact from the economic crisis, and 42% have been either unharmed or have seen some improvement. And half have moved into more conservative investments in the past year, but only 17% plan to do so over the next six months.

Among all financial services companies, mutual funds and community banks stand out as the most trustworthy, and credit card companies as least trustworthy.

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