Public confidence in investment industry still low: CFA

By Staff | August 14, 2013 | Last updated on August 14, 2013
2 min read

Investors worldwide have little trust in the investment profession and believe there is much that can be done to restore it, according to the CFA Institute/Edelman Investor Trust Study.

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The report reveals just 53% of investors in the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, Canada and Australia trust investment firms to do what is right. Retail investors are less trusting of the industry (51%) than their institutional counterparts (61%), and investors in the U.S. (44%) and UK (39%) are less trusting than those in Hong Kong (68%).

This lack of trust in the investment industry does not translate to the capital markets; nearly three-in-four investors report they are optimistic about their ability to earn a fair return in capital markets. Yet intensity of that confidence is low, as just 19% of investors “strongly agree” that they have a fair opportunity.

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Just over half of investors (55%) note that investment managers they work with have been the most effective in enhancing their trust in the capital markets – more than investment firms (41%), national regulators (38%) or global regulators (35%). Looking to the future, investors do expect government to help build trust in capital markets.

Fifty-two percent point to national and global regulators as having the greatest opportunity to effect change and enhance trust moving forward, far more than individual investment management professionals (28%) and investment management firms (13%).

The study also reveals that putting investors’ interests first is critical. Investors report that trusting an investment manager to act in their best interest is the single most important factor in making a hiring decision. Achieving high returns was cited only half as often, and fee amounts/structure only a fifth as much.

Read: CFA releases global sentiment survey

Investors also indicate that behavior-related attributes – including transparent and open business practices, responsible actions to address an issue or crisis and ethical business practices – are more important to trust-building than performance-related attributes such as delivering consistent financial returns and offering high quality products or services.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.