Would You Give Up Your Smartphone to Keep Your Financial Advisor?

New Survey Shows Importance of Financial Advisors to Investors

Would You Give Up Your Smartphone to Keep Your Financial Advisor?
August 14, 2015

If you are working with a financial advisor, how much do you value his or her input? If you were forced to choose, what would you be willing to give up instead of your financial advisor? Coffee? Dessert? Your doctor?

We admit that this is an odd question, but the folks at the insurance and financial services trade association LIMRA posed that very query to consumers. They found that of the twelve categories evaluated, only one was deemed more important than the financial advisor — the primary care physician. Even that was a close call, with the physician winning by a 52%-48% margin. We feel that wealth does not matter if you are too sick to enjoy it.

Before looking over the other options, we should point out how financial advisors were defined in the survey. The LIMRA page announcing the survey calls an advisor "a paid financial professional (e.g. insurance agent, lawyer, CPA, broker, financial planner, or advisor) used to make at least some of the household investment decisions." That is a pretty large and diverse category.

With that in mind, let's look at consumer preferences and the eleven categories that could not beat a good advisor. The numbers in parentheses show the percentage of respondents preferring the advisor to the category listed.

  • Hairdresser/Barber (80%) – There are just too many places to get a good haircut or new ‘do.

  • Favorite Dessert (78%) – Again, there are plenty of options to choose from, and too much dessert is bad for you anyway.

  • Lifetime of Good Parking Spaces (76%) – In a pinch, you could always pay for a spot with money your advisor earned you.

  • Favorite Television Show (75%) – Plenty of options. If your favorite show is on the Fox Business Channel, all the more reason to keep your advisor.

  • Half of Your Current Wardrobe (73%) – If you are like most of us, you do not need half of your current wardrobe anyway.

  • Favorite Sports Team (72%) – Not a tough choice for fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Coffee/Tea (66%) – We were surprised by this result. What if your advisor says to invest in Starbucks?

  • Dentist (66%) – That is a tough call. Perhaps the extra money made through a financial advisor can be applied to oral painkillers and soup.

  • $1,000 in Cash (64%) – This one seems like a no-brainer, as a good financial advisor can probably make you $1,000 with a single great piece of advice.

  • Smartphone (63%) – Another surprising result. We would use our phone to call for financial help.

  • Dream Vacation (58%) – We'll just take a decent vacation instead of a dream one.

As fun and downright silly as some of these conclusions are, they drive home the point that people who use financial advisors really do value them and would have difficulties making sound financial decisions without them. Other LIMRA research has shown that approximately 80% of consumers sought the advice of financial professionals for life insurance and other financial products.

The explosion of online financial information has not harmed relationships with financial advisors. It may have actually increased the need, since consumers are overwhelmed with sometimes-conflicting information and financial advice that can be hard to distinguish from advertising. A trusted financial advisor can help explain the differences in financial products and guide consumers toward the best product for their needs.

Thank goodness that the folks at LIMRA did not ask us to choose financial advisors over relatives or spouses. We're not going there.


Photo ©iStock.com/fatesun

  Conversation   |   23 Comments

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Elaine | 08.16.15 @ 04:08
Interesting artical. Definitely would not choose the advisor over my spouse and not sure about my smartphone either.
Britt | 08.16.15 @ 04:17
I use my phone to check things all the time, especially when it comes to financial stuff, I trust my own intuition over another in all honestly.
Kamie | 08.16.15 @ 04:21
I make money with my smartphone, I do not see why my financial advisor would tell me to get rid of it.
Alec | 08.16.15 @ 06:21
I do all my own budgeting and money-related research and investing. I'm not sure I'd pay someone to make me money when I could just be putting that money in to a high interest savings account. Maybe if I made enough money to invest in something big, I'd hire someone to help me better understand the risks and benefits.
Irene | 08.16.15 @ 09:59
I've already given up hairdressers and trim my own, I would gladly give up dentists if only I could. Nobody better touch my phone, I need it too much for too many things.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 08.16.15 @ 11:55
I could easily give up the barber as it seems there is less and less for him to cut each time
Connie | 08.16.15 @ 13:10
I would only give up something if I couldn't afford it.
Crystal | 08.16.15 @ 13:13
I would definitely give up frivolous spending and poor savings habits! It's like having a spotter!
Angie | 08.16.15 @ 14:17
The smartphone answer is a surprising one to me, too. I'm like Kamie - I use my phone to earn extra income and the benefits of being able to be in contact with my family and business associates are priceless.
Steffanie | 08.16.15 @ 14:46
I have managed to survive this long without a financial advisor, so I can't really see anything that I would be willing to give up to have one.
Katie Greene | 08.16.15 @ 18:23
I'm not sure why you would need to give up your smart phone to get financial advice. There are so many sites that would give you advice online from professionals. Good idea in theory, but no reason to do so
Nancy | 08.16.15 @ 18:41
It's an interesting question. As someone who is trying to recover from a financial set back, most of these suggestions are things I've given up our of necessity. At this point, it is hard to imagine sacrificing by choice.
Erin | 08.16.15 @ 19:56
Fun article. I could easily give up most of those things on the list and not give it a second thought. I'd actually love it if my husband would give up coffee for our financial advisor, but we seem to be doing well enough that he doesn't have to take such drastic measures.
Sarah | 08.16.15 @ 20:19
I got lost when people said coffee/tea. No, just no. I get that they have value but not over coffee and tea. No way, no how.
Carla Truett | 08.16.15 @ 20:34
I would give up my favorite dessert. I need to lose weight anyway lol.. Wait a minute, I love my cheesecake so I'll change it to the lifetime of good parking spaces since I now need to walk off that cheesecake lol.
Zanna | 08.16.15 @ 21:09
Could I have my advisor just text on my phone? I cannot stand going to talk to someone in an office. Even for expert advice I would have a difficult time choosing them over other things.
Beverly | 08.16.15 @ 23:28
I could probably give up my hairdresser as I don't really have one, but I don't know about my favorite dessert.....I really like cheesecake. I'm sure though, if I had a financial advisor that was making me money I would be willing to give up something, but they better be making me money.
Apryl | 08.17.15 @ 00:32
Advisors are important, true enough, but not worth my phone.
Leah | 08.17.15 @ 00:51
I could see maybe giving up my coffee. But my smart phone? Never.
trish | 08.17.15 @ 01:10
i am with a few people on here already...I earn money with my smartphone, so I really don't think an adviser would want me to give up my phone!!
Meredith L | 08.17.15 @ 01:46
This year has been one that starts "from scratch" and I'm on a tight budget. Believe it or not, we're supporting a household of 3 with one car, one steady paycheck (about $2100/month) and we're paying our bills on time with few extras. So, I got rid of my smartphone & got a $10 tracfone. We don't eat out. I make coffee at home, and I get to buzz the boys' hair. Do I have enough for a financial advisor? No. But I'm hoping one day soon we'll be able to aggressively pursue a nest egg.
Jo | 08.17.15 @ 02:15
I would not give up my smartphone, for a financial adviser, and giving up the dentist seems dumb at best. This is a very strange article.
Heather | 08.17.15 @ 03:51
I do usually trust my own instincts, but it would be nice to have someone I trusted to talk things over with.
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