What do people look for in an investment advisor?

What do people look for in an investment advisor?

To answer that question, here are the findings from a global survey carried out by our friends at Dimensional:

  • 40% Sense of security and peace of mind
  • 21% Knowledge of my personal financial situation
  • 18% Progress towards my goals
  • 12% Investment returns
  • 5% My investment account balance
  • 3% Other

It seems the number one quality that people want from their investment advisor is “a sense of security and peace of mind”.

That’s a feeling.

It shows that choosing an investment advisor is (at least initially) an emotional decision.

How do we generate that sense of trust?

We offer an initial meeting free, give people an idea of how we work, and share case studies to show what we’ve achieved for other clients.

Also, we’re approachable. We reassure clients that they can ask us anything, and there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Other criteria

It seems potential clients experience right brain thinking before switching to left brain thinking to justify their decision.

The Dimensional survey also looked at what made clients choose one investment advisor over another. Here are the results:

  • 38% Worked with clients like them
  • 22% Investment returns
  • 15% Other – trust, honesty
  • 7% Range of Services
  • 3% Fees & Expenses
  • 1% Same age

Here, the survey shows the second most popular result is performance.

Prospective clients want to know we can deliver a worthwhile return on their investment.

This is the rational (left brain) bit of decision-making. So we share our scientific approach to investing.

Here it is:

  • Choose low-cost funds in the first place
  • Diversify to spread the risk
  • Stick with the plan over the long-term

Obviously, nothing is guaranteed, but we can share loads of data covering decades which proves this approach works.

“Trust me, I’m a financial planner”

It’s interesting that people don’t seem too bothered about whether or not we’re qualified.

We suppose they assume we are!

That’s lucky – because it’s true. Lance is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). It’s recognised as the global symbol of excellence in financial planning.


It seems people no longer only look for an investment advisor who’s local. With all we’ve been through recently, people seem increasingly happy with a video relationship.

We cover Sussex and the Southeast, because that’s easiest for face-to-face meetings.

Some clients tell us, “I love it when Lance comes to see me. It’s an event. It means I can get the teapot on and a plate of biscuits ready.”

Or they say, “Visiting Lance in his office is a nice day trip.”

We’re flexible. We’ll meet however you like.

Related reading

P.S. This article talks about trust with a lower case t. Our next article will be about Trusts with an upper case T.

Lance Baron

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) based in East Sussex, UK. We support people in Southeast England with more than £500K to invest by building a financial plan that will help them live the life they want… until age 100