For clients, it’s all about peace of mind – study

Returns are important, but they’re not the bottom line as far as clients are concerned

For clients, it’s all about peace of mind – study
Lately there’s been a lot of talk and column inches devoted to the importance of investment returns. But while getting clients’ money to work for them is certainly high up on their priority list, a new study suggests they’re looking for something more.

Global investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors recently completed its second annual investor feedback survey, which polled nearly 19,000 investors representing eight countries from four regions — the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. When asked how they measure the value of the advice they receive, 35% said they look at the sense of security or peace of mind they get, which was the top answer.

“Peace of mind may be attributed to many aspects of an adviser relationship, and in our view it is an outcome of advisers helping investors feel prepared by setting the right expectations,” said Dimensional Co-CEO and Head of Global Financial Advisor Services Dave Butler.

Aside from security, the top four answers included “knowledge of my personal financial situation” (23%), “progress toward my goals” (20%), and “investment returns” (14%).

“Achieving returns in a way that enables people to relax just a little bit more is very important to us and also to investors,” said Dimensional’s Founder and Executive Chairman David Booth.

As for the attributes they consider most important in their advisor relationships, experience counts for a lot: 31% said they place the most importance on the client service experience, and 26% said they prioritize their advisor’s experience in working with clients like themselves. Another 32% said they prize investment returns above all, and 6% were particularly concerned about the range of services their advisor offers.

“When investors work with an adviser who has a holistic understanding of their personal situation and can help them stay focused on their long-term goals, we believe they are better positioned to benefit from what the capital markets have to offer,” Butler said.

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