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Advisers over-estimate client risk appetite: survey

A survey of US financial advisers has found many professionals are out of tune with investor sentiment, with many over-estimating their level of knowledge and risk appetite.

The study conducted by Accenture, which canvassed more than 400 American financial advisers and more than 1000 high net worth retail investors, found that professionals are three times more likely to describe their clients as “very knowledgeable” about investing than investors themselves.

According to the survey, 42 per cent of adviser respondents said they would describe their clients as “very knowledgeable” about investment, while only 12 per cent of investor respondents would describe themselves that way.

Only 1 per cent of advisers were found to describe themselves as “not knowledgeable” about investing, while 25 per cent of investors suggested they self-identified this way.

The survey also found that advisers over-estimated the risk appetite of their clients, with 26 per cent of advisers describing their clients as “aggressive” investors, with 13 per cent of investor respondents describing themselves as “aggressive”.

Sixty-seven per cent of advisers claimed to have a “personal relationship” with their clients wheras only 38 per cent of investors describe this relationship as “personal”.

“Our research suggests that financial advisors need to focus on better understanding their clients’ views and objectives to foster closer, more trusting relationships,” said Alex Pigliucci, global managing director of Accenture Wealth and Asset Management Services.

“With the explosion of ‘self-serve’ digital investment channels and increasingly complex investment products, the importance of this will only grow,” he said.

Do you think these findings would apply to adviser-client relationships in Australia? Have your say below.