J.D. Power Survey Reveals Investor Confusion About Standard of Care

A recent J.D. Power survey has revealed that investors are greatly confused about the standard of care that they are owed by their financial representatives, according to Investment News. The survey that was just released by J.D. Power and Associates showed that 85% of 4,200 full service investors said they had never heard or did not know the difference between the suitability and fiduciary standards. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made recommendations to Congress that all persons who provide financial advise be held to the fiduciary standard. Presently, only registered investment advisers are held to the more onerous standard.

Frankly, the survey seemed to establish that investors really were not too concerned with the different standards of care and whether their investment advisor was held to the suitability standard or fiduciary standard. They were more interested in whether their representative would return their calls and whether they would provide them the information they wanted regarding investments. The most prominent demand from investors was communication explaining their investments performance and how fees are charged.

Online communications between investors and their investment representatives continues to increase, with some 60% indicating that they had visited the firm’s website over the last year as compared to 52% in 2009, with older investors over 64 visiting the firm website three times more than responding investors under 45 According to the survey, over half of the investors have communicated with their representative via email as compared to only 19% having done so in 2008.

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