TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2012) - BMO Nesbitt Burns today released a study which found that Canadians are opting for investment advisors who are honest, able to explain things in easy-to-understand terms and who will take the time to work with them to develop a detailed financial plan. Interestingly, the study also found that investors are less interested in returns that outperform the markets than returns that meet their financial plan's targets.
The study, conducted by Pollara, showed that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadian investors have used the services of a financial or investment advisor within the past 12 months.
When selecting an investment advisor, Canadians chose the following key attributes as topping their wish list:
- Trustworthiness and honesty (89 per cent cited as most important)
- Level of knowledge (88 per cent)
- Experience (83 per cent)
- Track record and availability (tied at 76 per cent)
- Reputation and advisor confidence level (tied at 75 per cent)
"There is tremendous value in working with a trusted investment advisor given the sideways movement we've seen in the markets and the myriad of financial options available to Canadian investors today," said Bill Brown, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, BMO Nesbitt Burns. "Working closely with a professional who understands your financial goals and can identify a suitable investing strategy can greatly enhance your ability to succeed when it comes to managing your investments."
The study also revealed:
- Eighty-two per cent of Canadians want their investment advisor to explain their investments in easy-to-understand terms.
- It is more important for investors to get returns that meet their financial plan's targets (84 per cent) than returns that outperform the market (71 per cent).
- Sixty-nine per cent think it is very important that their investment advisor engages in meaningful communication on a regular basis.
"It's encouraging that Canadians appreciate the importance of having the performance of their investments track to their overall financial plan," said Mr. Brown. "However, they are also seeking to play a more active role in managing their portfolios by better understanding the markets. Advisors can set themselves up for success by engaging their clients in meaningful conversation and taking the time to explain the market forces at play and how they affect investing."
BMO Nesbitt Burns offers the following advice to Canadians investors looking for an investment advisor:
Get the lowdown: Does 'client service' imply no more than a financial statement or is it followed up with meaningful conversations, either by phone or face-to-face? Also, ensure you have a clear understanding with your advisor of the fees you will be paying and the services you will receive to avoid any surprises.
Soft skills matter: Look for an advisor who listens to you and takes an interest in your specific life situation. That means extending the wealth management conversation beyond investments to include things that matter to you such as insurance, estate planning, tax planning, business succession planning and/or education savings.
Contact is key: A good advisor will work with you to define and manage your service level expectations when it comes to contact. Regular contact such as portfolio reviews, phone calls and face-to-face meetings to discuss information related to your overall financial plan is essential.
Consider credentials: Choose an advisor who possesses well-known industry designations such as Personal Financial Planner (PFP)®, Chartered Investment Manager (CIM)®.or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)® and is committed to ongoing continuing education.
For more information on BMO Nesbitt Burns, visit: www.bmo.com/nesbittburns.
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The online survey was conducted by Pollara with a sample of 600 Canadian adults, currently holding investments, between June 28 and July 3, 2012.