Some 40% of investors in a new study said they were not provided or did not know about core information about investment performance from their investment advisor, 401(k) plan provider and other financial firms.
The report, from Phoenix Marketing International, also states that 33% of financial services clients say they "lack the confidence that information is presented in exactly the same way, regardless of outcome, whether (investment) performance is good or bad." Another 35% say weren't confident the information they receive from their investment professionals was accurate and dependable.
In addition, 35% of investors said they were not highly confident that the information they received was accurate and reliable.
For advisers who tend to underestimate transparency issues, the message is "don't" - as clients are paying closer attention these days.
"We're moving a lot of money away from our investment advisor, because we don't hear about risks or better investments; we don't get updates on fees and costs, or when it's a good time to buy or sell, or sometimes an investment comes to term and is sold and we pay a penalty," says Amanda Ponzar, chief marketing officer at Community Health Charities in Alexandria, Va. "To be honest, I think most investors feel like the house always wins because the investment firm takes fees whether you win or lose, whether your investment grows or shrinks, even if you lose principal."
Ponzar says she doesn't understand the many fees she's paying. "Oftentimes, there are commissions, buying and selling fees, 1% upfront costs on the amount invested, ongoing maintenance fees and annual fees," she explains. "I have no idea, to be honest, what the investment advisor or firm are taking. This makes me, and most investors, uncomfortable."