The Pulse

Why Do Wealthy Investors Change Financial Advisors?

Number one reason is ‘lack of proactive ideas’

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – Sep 9, 2015) – Wealthy investors commonly change financial advisors over the course of their lives. However, the reasons behind the decision can vary greatly depending upon their age and net worth, according to a new study from Spectrem Group.

Why Investors Switch Advisors reveals that more than half of High Net Worth investors have switched financial advisors within their lifetime and nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Affluent investors say they have switched advisors within the past five years.  It also indicates that more than 10 percent (11 percent) of Millennials have fired their advisor in just the past year.

According to the study, wealthy investors most often fire advisors for a lack of proactive ideas, while less wealthy investors fire advisors for a lack of frequent contact. Younger investors are also more likely to believe an advisor should provide information via mobile technology and understand social media.

More engaged investors

Investors who are more involved with their portfolios and enjoy investing are more likely to switch advisors than those who don’t have the time or interest to follow the market, according to the study. Nearly 9-in-10 wealthy investors check their account information on a regular basis and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) regularly follow the financial and economic news.

the primary reason they would leave an advisor is “not returning phone calls in a timely manner"

“This research offers key insights to providers about attracting and keeping investors,” said George H. Walper, Jr., President of Spectrem Group. “It underscores that investors are looking for proactive advisors who stay in contact with them in addition to offering new investment ideas and forward thinking.”

Excerpts from ‘Communication Matters Most to Investors’

  • More than 60 percent of the investors surveyed in October say the primary reason they would leave an advisor is “not returning phone calls in a timely manner.” More than half (55 percent) expect a return phone call within three to five hours. Less than 30 percent of the Millionaires, who have a net worth of $1 million to $5 million not including their home, feel it’s acceptable for an advisor to return a phone call the next day.
  • Millionaires also expect advisors to promptly return emails. Failure to do so would cause 45 percent of Millionaires to change advisors. More than 60 percent expect a return email within 12 hours. Doctors and lawyers are among the occupations with the highest expectations for prompt return phone calls and emails.
  • More than half the investors say they would switch advisors if their advisor failed to provide them with good ideas and advice, and 52 percent said they would leave an advisor for “not being proactive in contacting me. Continuing an established trend, wealth investors put a higher premium on communication than they do on long-term and short-term investment losses and rank personal qualities, such as honesty and trustworthiness, as the most important criteria for choosing an advisor.

“Our research shows that wealthy investors put great stock in the personal relationship they have with their financial advisors,” said Catherine McBreen. “Investors need to trust their advisors, but they also need to feel they are being treated with courtesy and respect.”.

Additional insights about the attitudes and concerns of wealthy investors are available at and Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, including:

Investors Find Some Fault with Advisor Communication Tools

Communication Matters Most to Investors



About Spectrem Group
Spectrem Group ( strategically analyzes its ongoing primary research with investors to assist financial providers and advisors in understanding the Voice of the Investor.
About Spectrem’s
Millionaire Corner is a premier independent online resource for investors and about investors. Millionaire Corner delivers timely, relevant and practical information and tools to help fuel financial growth for Millionaire investors and aspiring millionaires. With its Best Financial Advisors service, investors are able to search and evaluate financial advisors based on actual customer reviews of satisfaction with the advisor.