Seventy-one percent of individual investors say professional advice is worth the fee. Three out of four (73 percent) think that people who seek professional advice are more likely to achieve their financial goals than those who go it alone, according to a recent survey by Natixis Global Asset Management. But investors want more than just good investment performance; rather, investors indicated they get the most value from an advisor’s help in making more informed decisions about their investments (43 percent), setting goals and making plans (42 percent), and through personalized advice in volatile markets (40 percent). “Investors want a relationship that will make them smarter and better informed,” said John Hailer, CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management for the Americas and Asia. “Advisors need to make sure they are making every effort to listen to investors and personalize their services to best meet investors’ needs and goals.” Natixis surveyed 750 individual investors with a minimum of $200,000 in investable assets.
Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions now has $150 billion in assets on its Managed Account Solutions platform, a web-based platform powered by Envestnet technology. The company said the growth rate of MAS is twice the industry rate. Fidelity expects that rate to only increase, as a recent survey found that financial advisors plan to more frequently recommend managed accounts to comply with the DOL’s fiduciary rule. Fidelity is also adding a new feature to MAS that lets broker/dealers offer direct access to donor-advised funds on the Envestnet platform, which the company said is a “smarter” way to donate to charity than cash, checks or credit card payments.
If you need a friend in the annuity business, buy a dog and name it “Annuity.” That’s the advice that Stan Haithcock, aka "Stan the Annuity Man" gives on MarketWatch. Haithcock, the author of “The Annuity Manifesto,” writes that clients need advisors who will be brutally honest about their financial situations, much like a doctor would about their physical health. “Nice doesn’t pay the bills,” he writes. “Being cordial doesn’t solve problems. You want an advisor ... who shoots straight and is not afraid to stomp all over your emotions to get you moving in the right direction.” He adds that the new fiduciary rule will move advisors in this direction, keeping them in the right “financial lane” and not crossing over into personal relationships with clients.