Why Investors Change Advisors

Written by: Catherine McBreen | Spectrem GroupThere are many reasons why investors move their accounts from one advisor or provider to another. Sometimes the change occurs because of one key factor, and other times it is a collection of events that cause an investor to look for advice elsewhere.But there are areas of advisor performance that particularly rankle a high percentage of investors. What is surprising is that many of those performance issues do not relate to return on investment.Spectrem’s new study Communicating with Advisors and Providers requested investors to state which advisor performance issues or relationship actions would cause them to consider changing advisors.The most popular response was “not returning phone calls in a timely manner”, which 42 percent of investors selected. That response is slightly higher among retired investors, which corresponds with the research that indicates older investors are more likely to change advisors due to poor phone habits.The second most popular response was “not providing me with good ideas or advice.” This response, selected by 40 percent of investors, is not directly related to investment performance, but rather to the belief that the advisor is not offering proper information to consider for investment decisions. It could also be a complaint about not getting updated ideas from their advisor in a changing investment market.Related: Wealthy Investors Remain OptimisticThe third response, another one not directly related to the success or failure of investments, is “not being proactive in contacting me”. That’s a request that the advisor places the call rather than the investor being responsible for all communication, and 34 percent of investors said that complaint would cause them to change advisors.There is yet a fourth response not directly related to investment losses that is a bigger concern to investors. “Advisor doesn’t understand my risk tolerance" was selected by 23 percent of investors as a reason for changing advisors.“Losses over the space of two years” was selected by 22 percent of investors as a reason to move from one advisor to another; 17 percent said “losses over the space of five years” was a reason and only 10 percent said “Losses over a space of one year" would cause them to change advisors.