Unhappy investors will leave you within six months

By Staff | February 17, 2016 | Last updated on February 17, 2016
2 min read

Investors are expecting higher levels of transparency, holding their investment managers to higher ethical standards, and are laser-focused on returns, says a study from CFA Institute.

The survey, From Trust to Loyalty: A Global Survey of What Investors Want, measures the opinions of both retail and institutional investors globally. The findings reveal that investors want regular, clear communications about fees and to have upfront conversations about conflicts of interest. The biggest gaps between investor expectations and what they receive relate to fees and performance. Clients want fees that align with their interests, are well-disclosed, and fairly reflect the value they’re getting from their investment firms.

The study found that once investors decide to re-evaluate their relationships with investment managers, 76% of retail investors and 74% of institutional investors are likely to leave within six months.

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In 2013, only 50% of retail investors said they trusted the financial services industry. That’s since risen to 61%. About half the gain is thanks to improvements in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. While still higher than in other markets, trust levels in Canada fell 12% since 2013.

Among retail investors, the most important actions from an investment firm are that it “fully discloses fees and other costs” and “has reliable security measures.” These even surpass protecting their portfolio from losses. Among institutional investors, “acts in an ethical manner” rated as the most important attribute followed by “fully discloses fees and other costs.”

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That’s not to say that performance is unimportant – 53% of retail investors and 60% of institutional investors cited “underperformance” as the biggest factor that would lead them to switch firms. This was followed by “increases in fees,” “data/confidentiality breach,” and “lack of communication/responsiveness.”

Read: Morgan Stanley to pay billions for role in financial crisis

Advisor.ca staff


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