Big firms may tout they have won back the trust of investors but underlying measures by JD Power and Associates indicate a different picture. Three of the most critical areas measured by the recent Full Service Satisfaction Study showed investors were less content than before the 2008 crisis. Other indications offer a surface indication that satisfaction is back to normal.
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Overall satisfaction improved, reaching 775 on a 1000 point scale with 1000 indicating the greatest satisfaction. Dissatisfaction in advisors, investment performance, and advisor compensation increased despite the fact that contact between investors and advisors had increased albeit slightly.
The surge in the markets during the first quarter of 2012 may have increased investor expectations
, although the study was conducted in February while the markets were still strong. Social media is also credited with causing some of the dissatisfaction since it creates greater transparency through a mass communication platform.
Overall trends seem to indicate investors are becoming more discerning and more demanding of advisors in the areas of transparency, fees, and value in the relationship. The JD Power report seems to confirm those trends, offering opportunity to independent registered investment advisors.