The Research Reports

Provide an Exceptional Financial Advisor Client Experience

The Exceptional Advisor® understands what clients need and value. Using advanced knowledge gained through their Institute certifications, advisors can help educate and guide their clients to make the best decision for their particular financial situations. Take advantage of these online resources to better meet client needs:  

Research Studies

The Investor Advisor Disconnect: 2022 Advisor and Investor ResearchThe Investor−Advisor Disconnect: 2022 Advisor and Investor Research — This study highlights the stark contrast between what investors believe and feel and what advisors believe they know about investors -- and how a focus on the gap in client engagement and education can bridge that disconnect and improve the investor-advisor relationship.

InvestorResearch2022.PNG2022 Client Research: The Evolution Continues — Each year, Investments & Wealth Institute and Absolute Engagement survey clients across North America to gather insights that support exceptional advisors. We ask clients to tell us what they need, want, and expect from their advisors, and we analyze their responses to find how advisors can best adjust to the changing landscape. 

IWM22-ISecrets to earning a female investor's trustSecrets of Earning a Female Investor's Trust — The Secrets to Earning a Female Investor’s Trust – and Her Business By Kim M. Sharan Wealth managers will be able to succeed in the years ahead only if they know how to effectivity serve female clients. Up to now, understanding the needs of female clients has not been quite as critical for advisors—the majority of whom are men. With older generations of clients, men were often primary breadwinners and main financial decision-makers in the families.

IWM22-IWR-Defining-Wealth-Management.jpgDefining Wealth Management — This report defines knowledge and skills required of professional wealth management practitioners and serves as a blueprint for teams and firms to deliver competent, ethical advisory services to the public. Over the past three years, the Investments & Wealth Institute, in partnership with third-party psychometric partners, has commissioned several studies to define the knowledge and skills required for practitioners working within wealth management teams and firms. These studies have provided insight into industry trends and have helped the Institute to fulfill its non-profit purpose to develop and encourage the practice of high standards of professional conduct and to promote and protect the interests of the profession and the public it serves.

T3/Inside Information Survey2022 T3/Inside Information Survey — The goal of this annual survey is to help advisors and members of the fin­tech community answer the most basic questions about technology in the financial advisory space. The community of advisors and providers alike should be informed about which tech solutions are most popular in each of a growing number of categories, and the satisfaction levels of their users. This survey also provides data on the programs and services that advisory firms are looking at adopting or switching to in the coming year —which is believed to be a leading indica­tor to help forecast upcoming changes in market share.

BeFi Barometer 2021BeFi Barometer 2021 — Schwab Asset Management, in collaboration with the Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI), retained Cerulli Associates—a leading independent market research and consulting firm—to better understand advisors’ views on and use of behavioral finance when working with clients. In May and June 2021, Cerulli Associates conducted a survey of more than 300 financial advisors. Respondents were members of IWI and diversified across business models, including wirehouses, registered investment advisors (RIAs), and national & regional broker/ dealers. Select findings from the survey, BeFi Barometer 2021, are discussed in this white paper.

2021 Investor Report2021 Investor Report— This study looks closely at investor behavior, satisfaction, loyalty, and confidence, building upon last year's study to provide insight into how clients' views have changed. This new investor research, fielded during April-May 2021, further illustrates the changing client perceptions regarding their advisory relationships and the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on clients' lives. This study also further solidifies the Exceptional Advisors model, which helps advisors understand how to adjust their offerings when working with different client segments and outlines the skills and competencies that high-net-worth clients value in their advisors. This research was supported through a research grant from Hightower Advisors LLC., and Toews Corporation.

2021 Investor Report: Canada2021 Investor Report: Canada — This study focuses on understanding the needs and concerns of high-net-worth investors in Canada. Fielded in September and October 2021 by Absolute Engagement, this study is a reminder that exceptional advisors must respond to the changing needs, priorities and values of their clients and that those very things can shift during periods of extreme uncertainty, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Sometimes those changes are temporary, but the data is clear that many are more permanent. The data is a reminder that: we cannot assume things will go back to normal; we cannot assume what clients need now and if or how that has changed; and we cannot assume that clients want the same experience that was delivered prior to March 2020.

Investor Behavior in A Market Crisis2021 Investor Behavior in a Market Crisis — This new investor report builds upon last year's findings to illuminate the gaps between client and advisor perceptions regarding their advisory relationship. Fielded in April and May 2021, against the backdrop of the world recovering from an economic recession and the COVID-19 global pandemic, the survey results revealed the depth of client temptations, their fears of market declines, and their understanding of their portfolios. The study also revealed advisors' perceptions of what their clients think of them in addition to critical gaps and opportunities for advisors providing insights and actionable behavioral finance techniques that advisors can utilize to demonstrate and reinforce their value to clients. Sponsored by the Behavioral Investing Institute.

Logica Future of Money coverFuture of Money Study — The ongoing Logica® Future of Money Study seeks to understand the consumer mindset around money and delivers valuable immediate and historical insights that provide the foundation for deepening brand engagement. This is a must-read for financial brands looking to provide innovative products and services, deliver meaningful customer communications, and deepen customer engagement to improve people’s financial lives.

BeFi Barometer 2020BeFi Barometer 2020 — This research helps to educate advisors about the biases that drive disruptive decision-making for you and your clients.The survey was conducted amid the global pandemic and as the healthcare crisis wreaked havoc on our daily routines, beliefs, and financial markets, we saw the field of behavioral finance become more pronounced. As it was catapulted into the spotlight during the COVID crisis and related market volatility, we found practicing advisors reaping the benefits of implementing BeFi techniques.

Women in WealthWealthy women are more likely to drop advisors for bad service — This article disccusses the findings that wealthy female investors who have negative experiences with their financial advisors are more likely than men to fire them. That’s one of the conclusions from a gender-bias study by Bank of America’s wealth management business, which comes as female clients control an ever-increasing share of financial assets.

Investor Research 20202020 Investor Research — This new investor research, fielded in March 2020 by Absolute Engagement, illuminates the changing client perceptions regarding their advisory relationship and outlines the steps that advisors can take to demonstrate and reinforce their value now and in the future. The research also focuses on expanding the Exceptional Advisor Model to understand how advisors need to adjust their offer when working with different client segments.

2020 Investor Research Report2020 Investor Research: Investor Behavior in a Market Crisis — This new investor report is part of the omnibus research 2020 Investor Research. Fielded against a looming economic recession and a global pandemic in March 2020, the research took a close look at investor behavior in prior market turmoil, investor confidence, their view of their advisor relationship, and actions they took or might take with their portfolios. This study highlights the impact of global crisis on investor confidence and where advisors can provide support through practical behavioral finance strategies. Sponsored by Toews’ Behavioral Investing Institute.

Investor Research Canada 2020
2020 Investor Research Canada: The current crisis, the impact on  client loyalty and the implications for your business — This special report highlights the the shifts that are occurring in clients’ views, provides a look at what clients need, want, and expect during an unprecedented time, and explores how advisors can support clients to bolster confidence and loyalty. The current environment is one of the greatest opportunities to provide clients with meaningful support that goes beyond investments and planning. 

Pages-from-2020-littlechild-investor-research-article.png 2020 Investor Research: The current crisis, the impact on client loyalty and the implications for your business Each year brings new challenges for clients and advisors as the financial landscape fluctuates. This year is no different, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on many aspects of our society. The world is navigating through unique challenges and rapidly emerging norms. What does this mean for advisors? It means that the  current environment is one of the greatest opportunities to provide clients with meaningful support that goes beyond investments and planning. This research  highlights the shifts that are occurring in clients views, provides a look at what clients need, want, and expect during an unprecedented time, and explores how advisors can support clients right now.

2020-CIMA-CPWA-Cover.pngValue Of CIMA® and CPWA® Certifications — The financial advisory profession has grown dramatically in the last several decades. Today’s investors have more choices than ever before, not only in how they invest but also in advisor services. Today, advisors must differentiate themselves, provide meaningful support to clients and remain relevant by undertaking ongoing academic training and earning advanced credentials. This 2020 research study finds that the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA® ) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA® ) provide high value for advisors. 

Cover-Mitigating.pngMitigating the Impact of Advisors’ Behavioral Biases Advisors can improve their portfolio construction and management processes by acknowledging that they are subject to many of the same behavioral biases that they hope to help investors avoid. According to the BeFi Barometer 2019 survey, the most frequent challenge advisors face in using behavioral finance principles in their practices is difficulty in translating theory into implementation. This white paper is to helps advisors do just that. 

Cover-Fowm.pngDefining the Future of Wealth Management 2020 — is a composite study that provides compelling evidence that those who thrive in the advisory profession have earned advanced professional designations — they experience (1) high client retention, loyalty and engagement, (2) enhanced team performance on a variety of metrics, (3) accelerated growth in the client base, and (4) have greater job satisfaction.

2019-Research-(1).pngHigh-Net-Worth Investor Research 2019 —The 2019 High-Net-Worth Investor Study from the Investments & Wealth Institute was designed to answer two important questions for advisors and for the industry: (1) If, as the research shows, the majority of clients are satisfied with their advisor, do we need to set a higher standard than satisfaction? (2) If not, what is the path from being a good advisor with satisfied clients, to an Exceptional Advisor with deeply engaged clients?

Membership ProfileInstitute Member Profile —The Institute is the global community for advanced investment advisors and wealth managers. Members serve in institutional and client-facing roles throughout the financial industry. The Institute completes an annual in-depth analysis of its membership through a partnership with Cerulli Associates.

Defining the Future of Investment AdviceDefining the Future of Investment Advice: Industry Dynamics and CIMA Job Analysis StudyConducted in partnership with Human Resources Research Organization, this 2017 study explores the process and outcomes of a job analysis of 2,050 investment professionals worldwide to determine the advanced competencies professionals need to deliver the highest level of investment advice.

Building High-Net-Worth Knowledge through the CPWA CertificationBuilding High-Net-Worth Knowledge Through the CPWA Certification — Examines how Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification correlates with superior levels of advisor knowledge and success. Fielded by the Aite Group, 2017, the study gathered input from 436 advisors, including 77 with a CPWA certification.

High Performing Advisor Teams researchHigh-Performing Advisor Teams – Conducted in partnership with Janus Henderson Investors by Cerulli Associates, this study takes a close look at the advantages of working in a team and the distinguishing factors of the most productive teams by analyzing more than 2,800 practices operating across both solo and team-based models.

Investments and Wealth Client Research 2017Investments & Wealth Client Research 2017 — Fielded by and sponsored by Capital Group, this 2017 survey gathered input from 585 mass-affluent and high-net-worth U.S. investors with investable assets of at least $500,000 who work with a financial advisor and make or contribute to financial decision-making in the household to determine how advanced, voluntary designations or credentials support meaningful differentiation among advisors.

Value of CIMA Certification to an Advisor's PracticeThe Value of CIMA Certification to an Advisor's Practice — Examines how the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification correlates with practice success and career satisfaction for advisors. Conducted by the Aite Group, the 2017 study gathered input from 436 advisors, including 104 with a CIMA certification.

Canadian Advisor Report 2017Investments & Wealth Institute and Strategic Growth: Continuing Education and Professional Development for Canadian Advisors — 2017 survey of 347 Canadian advisors conducted by CoreData Research looks closely at the role continuing professional education and certification play in Canada's investment and wealth management industry.

Canadian Investor Research 2017Canadian Investor Research — Explores how advisors can stand out when high satisfaction and loyalty do not set them apart. This study of 444 Canadian and 585 U.S. investors conducted in 2017 examines if and how advanced, voluntary designations or credentials support meaningful differentiation among advisors.