Investors Increasingly Choose Advice

Demand for financial advice is growing and investors are increasingly satisfied with advice offerings

Boston, MA, November 30, 2023 – New research, issued by Cerulli Associates and SIFMA, highlights increasing demand for financial advice among U.S. investors. Since 2009, the “advised” investor segment has grown from 35% to 47%, while those who consider themselves “self-directed” has fallen from 41% to just 24%.

Despite a seemingly unlimited array of information and tools designed to empower investors to take an active role in managing their own investments, the research finds that 63% of investors indicate a willingness to pay for advice, up from 38% in 2009. The research also finds broader demand for personalized, comprehensive advice. Interest in formal financial plans has increased from 38% to 54% over the last 14 years, allowing advisors greater opportunity to assist clients on the way to achieving their financial goals while increasing satisfaction with their advice relationships.

“Investors seek advisors with a service set aligned with their financial goals,” says Scott Smith, director, “Looking forward, we believe demand will be centered around personalized comprehensive advice delivered through trusted advisors,” he adds.

Recent market volatility has had minimal impact on demand or retention—investor satisfaction with advisors and providers remains near all-time highs, with 81% of investors expressing satisfaction with their advisor and provider.

“The data clearly indicates that Investors are increasingly choosing professional advice and recognize the value to navigate complicated choices. Trustworthiness and quality of service comprise the foundation of client satisfaction,” says Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. President and CEO of SIFMA.

Yet, as advisors seek to ensure long-term client growth, scalable advice solutions employed to engage clients before they have met traditionally targeted wealth levels will be important. “Displacing providers will become increasingly difficult as incumbents find more ways to extend the breadth of their client relationships,” Smith concludes. “The more advised clients feel that someone is looking out for them early on, the harder it will be to break the trust and loyalty that comes with the advice relationship,” adds Smith.

Download a copy of the presentation here.