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The majority of investors (84%) are more interested in meeting their personal goals than in scoring stellar returns that outperform markets, says a new BMO Nesbitt Burns survey.

Read: The difference between volatility and risk

Most Canadians, it says, are looking for an advisor who steers clear of jargon (82%). Instead, they search for planners who offer competitive and easy-to-follow, comprehensive advice.

Read: Use language carefully in client communications

In the past year, more than two-thirds (69%) of investors have used the services of an investment advisor. And when choosing, valued their honesty (89%), knowledge (88%), experience (83%) and reputation (75%).

The survey suggests clients want to play a more active role in managing their portfolios. They also want to gain a better understanding of global markets.

Read: Active management: A fool's paradise and Volatility demands active management

Clients want advisors who:

Educate them: Be willing to educate them about the market, and expect them to also ask about how your fees work, and if any hidden costs will come up.

Read: Why financial literacy matters

Ask about their lives: Show an interest in their lives and hobbies, and include topics such as insurance, estate planning and tax planning in your wealth discussions.

Read: Making it personal

Communicate often: They not only look for portfolio reviews, but also want regular phone calls and face-to-face meetings to discuss information related to their plans. The release of exciting news, popular IPOs and surveys may also result in a call from your clients.

Read: Improve your emails to clients

Have credentials: Be ready to discuss your designations and what they mean. It's no secret that Canada's advice credentials landscape has been criticized for its complexity, often called "Alphabet soup" by even industry professionals.

Originally published on Advisor.ca