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(Graphic: Charles Schwab)

Stocks in this article: SCHW

“These investors may lack the experience and appetite to fully tackle the task-at-hand, but they absolutely understand that investing is a job that needs to be done and they do not want to go it alone,” noted Clark, adding that half of those studied use the word “comfortable” to describe how their investment professional makes them feel about their financial future.

Advice Orientation: One Size Does Not Fit All

Study participants put themselves in one of two advice-seeking camps: those who make all their own decisions even though they receive advice and guidance from an investment professional (59 percent of respondents), and those who use someone to make investment decisions for them without getting very involved (38 percent). But the findings show that even within these two camps, affluent advice-seekers are split on what they really want in these relationships:

  • 54 percent of all respondents prefer to pick and choose specific areas for which they will pay for advice, while 46 percent prefer to pay one fee for advice that addresses their entire portfolio
  • 52 percent want a solution that has worked successfully for other people like themselves, while 48 percent want an investment professional who provides a custom solution for their unique situations
  • 53 percent want to work with an investment professional who makes changes to their portfolios when they are needed — based on the market and their needs — while 47 percent prefer someone who lets them know when they should consider making changes to their portfolio, along with the rationale for those changes
  • 72 percent say they just want someone who can answer simple questions about investment choices, and a similar number (70 percent) say they want to have access to a team of professional advisors with expertise in taxes and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Positive Outlook with a Goal of Capital Preservation

Market optimism is prevalent among affluent investors who receive advice, with more than six in ten (63 percent) believing that the S&P 500 will continue its rise in the short-term. About that same number (65 percent) think their portfolio will perform on par with the S&P in the next six months, and nearly half (47 percent) think their investment goals will be easy for their advisors to achieve.

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