ByAllAccounts: Most Advisors Base Client Selection on Investable Assets

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More than 8 in 10 financial advisors identify prospective clients based on their investable assets, according to a new report.

ByAllAccounts, Boston, Mass., published this finding in a national online survey of more than 390 financial advisors. The survey examines key traits and characteristics of successful advisors, including their views on defining success, personal strengths and values, top priorities, plus areas of focus and insights into how they spend their time.

The report reveals that 85% of advisors use investable assets to select prospective clients. Far fewer advisors base their selection according to the prospect’s life stage or geographic location (40%), occupation (20%) or age (18%).

According to the survey, the top 30% of firms (those with over $100 million in assets under management) grew their holdings by more than 16% during the past two years.

Nearly all (96.9%) advisors surveyed judge client satisfaction to be the most important measure of business success. Far fewer advisors view assets under management (41.5%), revenue (35.4%) or investment performance (33.8%) as the most important gauge.

When asked to identify the three top priorities for their firm, close to 7 in 10 advisors (65.6%) flag “client retention.” The next two highest priorities are “client service” (60.9%) and “grow assets under management” (59.4%).

In response to the question, “Which of the following characteristics would you want your client and/or peers to use to describe your firm?” more than 6 in 10 advisors (64.1%) select “trustworthy.” The next two most popular characteristics are “honest” and “best-in-class.”

Four in 10 (40.6%) of the survey respondents say most of their clients are high net worth individuals with investable assets ranging from $1 million to $4.9 million. Mass affluent clients with $500,000-$999,999 in assets and middle income class with $0-$500,000 in assets make up a majority of, respectively, 28.1% and 23.4% of advisors.

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