Six in ten financial advisors (60%) support the repeal of the DOL fiduciary ruling. Advisors employed in the Broker/Dealer channels—particularly the Bank channel (82%)—and commission-based advisors (72%) are most likely to favor repeal. In contrast, RIAs, most of whom already consider themselves fiduciaries, are more likely to oppose repeal (45%) than support it (29%). These and other findings are a preview of the type of insights that will be included in The Future of the Financial Advisor™, a Cogent Reports™ research study scheduled for release in late February by Market Strategies International.
“Whether the ruling is repealed or not, we’ve seen evidence that advisors are shifting client assets toward lower-fee investment products,” said Meredith Lloyd Rice, a vice president at Market Strategies International's financial services research division. “New competitive forces such as robo-advisors, innovations in technology and evolving client expectations will continue to prompt changes in the wealth management industry.”
“The decision to support repeal is not an easy one for firms. This is a genie that may not go back into the bottle easily. Many firms are far down the road in preparation and communication with clients, while others have indicated they will make fiduciary status a point of competitive differentiation. Firms that go back on that messaging could be perceived as not being on clients’ side after all, and hoping clients don’t question the impact of repeal would be very problematic,” said Chris Barnes, managing director of the Financial Services division at Market Strategies.
“Further supporting the genie out of the bottle theory, our initial research with affluent investors regarding the ruling indicates that nearly half would only work with a fiduciary going forward and over a third prefer it,” continued Barnes. “Regardless of today’s news from the Trump administration, this increased preference will create opportunities for advisors acting as fiduciaries.”
About The Future of the Financial Advisor™
Cogent Reports conducted an online survey with 786 financial advisors across the RIA, National wirehouse, Independent, Regional and Bank channels in November to December of 2016. The full report is scheduled to release in late February of 2017. In order to qualify, respondents were required to have an active book of business of at least $5 million and offer investment advice or planning services to individual investors on a fee or transactional basis. Cogent Reports set quota targets and weighted the data to be representative of the overall advisor universe using the Discovery Data Financial Services Industry database as a sample source. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.