When it comes to their relationship with advisors, consumers value integrity
over know-how, according to a new survey by The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).
The MDRT Financial Harmony Study found that 39 percent of consumers surveyed ranked honesty as the most important trait for advisors, followed by trustworthiness
, at 29 percent. Nineteen percent ranked “delivers results” as the most important trait, while 13 percent cited “knowledge” as the top trait.
The study also highlighted a wide gap in perceptions between consumers and their financial advisors. Overall, clients gave their advisors a score of 7.7 out of 10 when it comes to honesty, while advisors gave themselves a 9.2, MDRT said. When it comes to trustworthiness, advisors gave themselves a score of 8.3, compared with a score of 7.6 from consumers. Advisors also gave themselves higher scores in knowledge, 8.4 compared with 7.8, and delivering results, 8.4 versus 7.4, the survey said.
“The MDRT Financial Harmony Study should be a wake-up call for any advisor who thinks they are in perfect harmony with their clients,” said MDRT President Julian H. Good, Jr. “The findings reinforce the need for financial professionals to pay more attention to the relationship
side of the advisor-client equation, working to better earn clients’ trust by demonstrating professionalism, ethics and integrity in their approach and interactions.”
The MDRT Financial Harmony Index (FHI) Score, which measures advisors based on how consumers rate them; how advisors rate themselves; and the size gap between the two ratings, was 66. A score of 100 indicates complete harmony between clients and advisors and total client satisfaction, MDRT said.