SOURCE: Luxury Institute, LLC

Luxury Institute, LLC

July 28, 2015 09:45 ET

Luxury Institute Survey Shows Wealth Management Industry Suffering Trust Deficit Among Wealthy Investors

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - July 28, 2015) - A new survey by the independent and objective New York-based Luxury Institute reveals detailed perceptions of affluent investors regarding the securities industry, and the various regulatory entities entrusted with investor protection. Respondents had a minimum household income of $150,000, with an average income of $289,000 and average net worth of $2.9 million.

Not all wealthy investors work with advisors. In fact, fewer than half of all affluent investors (46%) report using a wealth advisor to help manage their investments, a proportion that rises substantially with age and escalating thresholds of net worth.

Wealthy investors who work with financial advisors are slightly more inclined to hold an overall unfavorable (31%) perception of the securities industry than they are to view it in a positive light (30%). The wealthier the investor, the greater the distaste: 5% of non-millionaires and 14% of investors worth more than $10 million reporting a "very unfavorable" perception of the securities business.

The two most strongly held beliefs among wealthy investors regarding the securities industry are that it is "driven by greed," and "reluctant to punish those who commit wrongful acts." Investors agree to a lesser degree that the industry "lacks internal controls to prevent irresponsible or wrongful actions on the part of advisors," and that it provides insufficient disclosures to clients on conflicts of interest. The wealthiest clients are especially likely to agree that the industry provides insufficient disclosures of risks, fees, and conflicts of interest, and that better oversight is needed.

As for the job that securities industry watchdogs are doing, wealthy investors express the most distrust of the U.S. Congress in terms of protecting the interests of investors. They do not show much more confidence in state regulatory authorities, the Securities Industry Association, or the National Association of Securities Dealers. Wealthy investors speak most highly of the job done by juries to provide justice in securities cases, and also hold positive opinions on efforts by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board to protect investors.

"Wealth management is a business based very much on personal relationships, so it's not a good sign that so many wealthy clients express such low levels of confidence that their advisors will do right by them," says Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza. "Competition in the wealth management business is intense, so advisors who want to keep their clients will need to cultivate relationships that involve a greater degree of trust and confidence in their basic honesty and integrity."

Individuals with a net worth of at least $10 million are more than twice as likely (68% vs. 31%) as those from non-millionaire households to pay for wealth management services. Working with some type of wealth manager is least likely (38%) among Millennial and Generation Y investors between the ages of 21 and 44, while it is most common (59%) among those 65 and older.

About Milton Pedraza and Luxury Institute, LLC
Milton Pedraza is the CEO of the Luxury Institute. Over the past 12 years, Milton has established the Luxury Institute as the most trusted global luxury research provider, and the proven high performance luxury client relationships consulting firm. Known globally as the foremost resource for affluent and wealthy consumer insights and client experience best practices, the Luxury Institute has served over 1,000 global luxury goods and services brands across dozens of luxury goods and services categories.

Milton advises and coaches luxury CEOs and serves on the Boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, and luxury startups. He is sought after worldwide for his practical, innovative and humanistic insights and recommendations on luxury and is the most quoted global luxury industry expert in leading media and publications.

Milton is also an authority on CRM Technology, Analytics and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, PepsiCo, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide.

Milton was born in Colombia, raised in the United States, has lived in several countries, conducted business in over 100 countries, and speaks several languages.

For more information and additional insights from this survey and other research, visit www.LuxuryInstitute.com, or contact Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza directly with questions (mpedraza@luxuryinstitute.com).

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