According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, the US financial services industry dropped twenty-three points from a 68 to 45 in the trust index, indicating a sweeping move from overall trust to distrust over the past year. Of course, Edelman, which is a global public relations firm, reported growing distrust across all industries and institutions around the globe, dubbing 2018 the “Battle for Truth” year.
However, the financial services industry, which had otherwise seen great improvement in public trust since the 2008 financial crisis, declined for its own specific reasons. The top five were: no product/cost transparency, confusing products/services, unwanted selling, not responsive, and difficulty addressing problems.
These first two reasons should not exist. Financial advisors should let you know how much you are paying and what you are getting in return—that’s just good business. But since finance can be complex, instead of taking more time to explain solutions to their clients, many financial advisors exploit these relationships to charge absurd fees and sell unnecessary products.
The final three reasons come down to customer service: financial advisors shouldn’t harass people into becoming clients then ignore them once they’ve been paid. Advisors should foster client relationships, answering questions and providing solutions to financial problems. We are obviously in business to make money, but it should never be to the detriment of our clients.
The bottom line is that you should find a financial advisor you can trust. But if any of these reasons for distrust pop up, know that it’s not you. It’s very much them.
Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at josh@LeFleurFinancial.com.