Have you looked at our logo lately? If not, take a closer look…
That tag line is more than a sentence — it drives everything we do, from operations to investment strategies to the client experience. As your business partner, we want to bring the key insights AND implementable strategies that will enable you to be a better advisor and ultimately deliver a better wealth experience.
One way we help is through uncovering the types of experiences your clients want from you. We recently closed out our second Investor Survey in conjunction with Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). With over 14,000 responses last year, we learned A LOT about what your clients truly value. In the coming weeks, we’re going to be sharing our updated research with those advisors who participated. Additional research and insights will follow this summer for all those firms who’ve partnered with us.
So, what did we learn last year? Our inaugural 2016 Investor Study uncovered these top five insights:

  1. Why do clients choose you? After investment returns, the second most important trait clients seek in an advisor is experience in working with people like them. Investors want to work with advisors who have experience with those in their situation. If the homepage of your website doesn’t clearly articulate who you best serve, you could be missing out on prospective client introductions.
  2. What do they value? Most clients primarily value the “sense of security/peace of mind” provided by their financial advisor. However, for advisors providing a more goal-based or financial planning relationship, “progress towards my goals” was ranked higher than for the broader population. Advisors delivering a planning experience with tools such as MoneyGuidePro are having an impact on how people perceive them.
  3. How often do they want to see you? 70% of clients surveyed want to meet with their advisor only 1-2 times annually. Their preferred venue is in-person (44%) and then by phone (29%). If everything else in the relationship is becoming commoditized (investments, planning, online access, etc.), we would argue you should design a compelling client review for those precious in-person meetings. Also, consider incorporating 360 Discovery or our Feedforward process to build more engaged relationships. By the way, millennials want to meet with you as often, although they also want you to be available across all channels — live and digital.
  4. What do they want to talk about? Clients want to talk Investments, goals/financial situation and current market/economic conditions in that order. Loring Ward invests so heavily in investor education materials to make sure you have the right information available. Are you leveraging everything we offer? We can save you a lot of time in preparing for client meetings, freeing you up to focus on more of your clients’ goals.
  5. Are you referable? The short answer is yes! On average, more than 96% of clients working with DFA or Loring Ward are willing to refer their advisors. And over 60% already have. We are fortunate to work with advisors like you who have a referral rate of 2.4 times the industry average, according to a 2016 Wall Street Journal Investor Survey.1


Our 2017 Investor Survey will undoubtedly yield additional insights on how you can deliver a better wealth experience and where we can help. For more information, please contact your Regional Director or me at

1Wall Street Journal, “Ultrawealthy Investors Aren’t Inclined to Recommend Their Advisers,” May 31, 2016. Dimensional results are from 2016 Dimensional Investor Survey.