Less than half of the relatively affluent investors surveyed by PR firm Edelman trust financial institutions these days because, they say, the industry's greed has only made the markets worse. But advisors themselves are still key information sources.
Only community banks and mutual fund companies got a majority "trustworthy" response. The money center banks and brokerage firms were considered untrustworthy by 57% to 58% of the population -- and the investment banks only earn the trust of 35%.
A full 60% were not convinced that the big firms offer any value at all.
What do they want? Honesty and transparency.
And on that scale, individual brokers and other advisors were seen as the best sources of information by the largest segment of the survey group -- 37% of the population, which may not look like much, but it's a lot better than the 14% share that friends and family got, much less the completely dismal 12% share of the news media.