Do clients really like your fee model?

Most advisors are convinced clients are satisfied with their compensation models, but investors have their own ideas

A new survey reveals that the majority of Canadians who work with a financial advisor value the relationship, with 96% stating they believe the advice they receive is "very valuable" or "somewhat valuable."
Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, conducted a national survey that examined the level of value investors place on the advice they receive from their financial advisor, the level of satisfaction they feel and their attitudes towards the fees they pay. 1,500 Canadian investors, whose financial advisors are Advocis members, participated in the study.
This is good news for advisors who can now see that their role is appreciated. It also means we’re here to stay with client satisfaction rates high and many valuing the advisor-investor relationship.
Greg Pollock, president and CEO, Advocis said: “The results of our consumer survey were even more positive than expected.”
However, the relationship between investor and advisor is something that may be interfered with if the government chooses to introduce new regulations that would alter the way advisors are paid. It could potentially put an end to commission based work.
“If a ban on commissions is successful, as some are calling for, we will see a sharp decline in access to professional advice because those who need it most won't be able to afford it."
It seems the study backs this up with numbers indicating that 88% of investors enjoy the payment choices they currently have. They like to choose between an hourly fee, an embedded fee, or a percentage of assets under management.
“Consumers clearly do not want the relationship they have with their financial advisor disrupted. Maintaining choice in how they pay for financial advice is important to consumers” continued Pollock.
Unfortunately though, changes may be coming as regulators continue to look at legislation to alter adviser fees.
Advocis alternatively has proposed a self-regulation model that aims to increase consumer protection and ‘reduce red tape for advisors’ but says investors should continue to educate clients on the current compensation model.