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Why Are So Many Advisers Resistant to Written Financial Plans?

Jun 22, 2011

A new survey by Fidelity Investments of 500 financial advisers and 500 retirees and pre-retirees found that only 18% of pre-retirees who work with advisers have retirement plans. Of those investors, only slightly more than half have detailed written plans. A separate survey of 1,800 advisers by Cerulli Associates, a Boston based consultancy, found that last year only 33% of financial advisers said they provided clients with comprehensive financial planning, including a written financial plan. That’s down from 40% in 2009. And a June poll of 1,011 adults conducted by KRC Research for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards found that just 42% of those surveyed had a written document outlining their financial plans and 11% had little more than notes and ideas….

But the benefits of providing a documented plan are plenty. Clients who received written plans were more likely to be satisfied with their advisers and stick to their plans, according to Fidelity, which found 80% of retirees intended to follow at least some of their plan. Comprehensive financial planning, which includes a written plan, also increases assets under management, strengthens customer relationships and makes it easier to establish investors’ expectations, Cerulli found. Investors who could see their plans also felt more upbeat about their financial futures, says Dan Drummond, a spokesman for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, which found that 58% if Americans said they would feel more confident about their finances if they had a plan in place and 86% expressing they felt they should have a plan. Read more >

SmartMoney
Jonnelle Marte
June 22, 2011

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CFP Board’s leadership and representatives are available for interviews and speaking engagements on personal finance, the financial planning profession, CFP Board and the CFP® designation.

Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
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