New data indicate that the wealthier people are, the more likely they are to consult with a professional advisor before making an investment decision.  But they are less likely to turn to an advisor in a bank or credit union.

These findings are among the insights shared by RFI Global’s Larry Cohen at the Kehrer Study Group on Integrating the Delivery of Wealth Management in Financial Institutions, June 22-23 in Chapel Hill.

Households with at least $3 million in financial assets, and the subset of households with at least $10 million, are twice as likely to always seek investment advice than less wealthy households.  And the incidence of those sometimes seeking advice increases with wealth.

Who do they turn to for advice?  Across all the wealth segments, independent financial planners are the clear choice, outdistancing stockbrokers by a wide margin. Over half of the high-net-worth households seek out a financial planner, twice the usage of stockbrokers.

Affluent and HNW households are 5 times more likely to obtain advice from an independent planner than an advisor at a bank, and very unlikely to seek advice in a credit union.

Most sources of advice experience more use among wealthier households, with the exception being insurance agents, discount brokers, and credit unions.

RFI Global’s MacroMonitor is the largest, most comprehensive survey of the use of financial services by US consumers and their perceptions and preferences for products and providers. The 2022-23 MacroMonitor is the 23rd wave in this comprehensive financial services research program.  Every two years since 1978, the MacroMonitor has measured US household attitudes, behaviors, channel use, demographics, ethnicity, financials, and goals.  There were 5,023 interviews conducted with household financial decisionmakers, including 429 households with financial assets of $3 million or more, from December 2022 to January 2023.

The Kehrer study group of financial institution executives looking to revamp the delivery of wealth management met for the 7th year.  Faced with a decline in the market share for private wealth, disruptive institutional consolidation, historic enmity between retail brokerage and Trust, and demands for better technology to enhance advisor and client experience, participants shared their visions and initiatives for optimizing the delivery of wealth management.