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Study: More Wealthy Investors Seeking Out Financial Advisers.

Wealthy clients are dramatically shifting their loyalties away from financial institutions and toward advisers and "open architecture" Internet platforms, according to a report by the Spectrem Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets.

Three key trends are driving the change, said Laurie Cochran, a Spectrem director and co-author of the report, "Is Client Loyalty Dead? Meeting the Needs of Affluent Investors in the Age of Aggregation." The reasons are the impact of the Internet, open architecture and the increased role of independent advisers. Cochran said affluent investors demand access to a variety of investment products and services from many sources, a demand that the Internet helps fill.

"We believe that investors are comfortable receiving all their financial information from one source, but they do not want all of their investments to be in the products of one company," she said. "With the emergence of open platforms like online brokerage accounts, Schwab's One Source and new account aggregation services, investors now have the ability to satisfy those goals."

The report found that more than one-third of affluent investors now consider using an independent adviser, such as a registered investment adviser or a certified financial planner, Cochran said. About the same proportion use a full-service broker.

Spectrem drew data for the report from a broader study it conducted of the overall affluent market. It was based on 1,923 completed questionnaires from a national representative sample of households with at least $100,000 annual income and/or net worth of at least $500,000, not including primary residence.
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Comment:Study: More Wealthy Investors Seeking Out Financial Advisers.
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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