There are a lot of millionaires in the United States. More than ever, in fact, according to recent research published by London-based market research firm TNS. But are they turning to financial advisors for help? Well, yes, and no.
On May 1, TNS reported the number of millionaire households (those with $1 million in net worth excluding primary residence) has risen for the fourth consecutive year to a record high of 9.3 million, which represents a five percent increase from the previous year. Here’s the rub: TNS’ annual Affluent Market Research Program (AMRP)–a survey of 1,600 households with a net worth of more than $500,000–found that not only are the rich getting richer, but they’re also getting more independent, as an increasing number are opting for online trading.
Online trading among millionaires who have Internet access rose to 32 percent, which TNS says represents a 45 percent jump over the last five years. But it’s not all bad news: Some 60 percent of millionaires continue to obtain investment advice from a professional financial advisor. Of those who do not use a financial advisor, 46 percent said, “I feel I do better managing my own money,” while 31 percent said, “the wealth of information [available to me] makes a professional advisor unnecessary."
Earlier in the week, an Investment Company Institute survey showed that most mutual fund investors turn to financial advisors for help in selecting a mutual fund and drawing up a financial plan. Respondents also said they think the advice they get is worth what they pay for it.
So, depending on whom you talk to, financial advisors are either becoming more or less relevant.
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