Surprising Due Diligence Gap Uncovered: Most High-Net-Worth Investors Hire First Advisor They Speak With, According to New Dynasty Connect Survey

Survey Also Reveals That Over Half of Respondents Ages 35-44 with $500,000 + in Investable Assets Cited a Specific Life Event as a Trigger to Seek Professional Advice.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--()--Dynasty Financial Partners today announced the results of a Dynasty Connect survey of 1,000 high-net-worth respondents, all of whom work with a financial advisor. The respondents each had a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets. The survey was conducted in partnership with Absolute Engagement between April 20-May 1, 2023, and has a 3.1% margin of error.

According to the survey, a surprising number of wealth-management clients do not shop around before choosing a financial advisor. Instead, they work with the first financial advisor they speak with.

When asked, ‘With how many advisors did you have a conversation prior to hiring your current advisor?’ 57% of respondents stated that they had ‘only spoken to their advisor.’

"It's an extraordinary finding that high-net worth families are selecting the first and only advisor they speak with. It's like buying the very first house you look at,” according to Dynasty Financial Partners CEO, Shirl Penney. “At Dynasty Connect, we provide due diligence and deep understanding of the options wealthy families have when seeking financial advice and introduce those families to independent financial advisors suited to meet their needs.”

Trigger for Seeking Advice

In addition, the survey highlighted that a ‘life event’ was often the trigger for seeking professional advice. These life events include ‘received an inheritance,’ and ‘change in employment situation.’

“These findings about life events triggering the need for professional advice highlight the need for high-net-worth families to conduct appropriate due diligence. Investors need to ensure their chosen advisor has the right experience to handle the often-complex nature of these life events for families of significant wealth,” said Mr. Penney.

“Our goal is to ensure a wealthy individual or family can find a financial advisor who dovetails with their needs, personality, and vision,” he said. “It’s paramount to find a ‘custom fit’ in your advisor so you together may achieve your goals.”

Informal Referrals to a New Advisor

The Dynasty Connect Survey also found that when seeking a new advisor, 46% of respondents were referred by ‘a friend, family member or colleague.’ Respondents under the age of 45 are less likely to rely on referrals and use multiple sources to identify potential advisors. Those younger respondents were about 3-times as likely to find a new advisor using online searches, social media, blogs or other online sources.

“Sadly, data show that relying on your friends and family for referrals may not be the wisest strategy for these wealthy investors, as everyone’s circumstances and needs are unique,” explained Mr. Penney.

The survey results underscore that many high-net-worth individuals are not fully aware of the availability or value of a highly-customized relationship with their advisor, according to Mr. Penney.

“At Dynasty Connect, we want to increase awareness and educate families about the benefits of a strong client-advisor relationship,” he said.

Advisor “Churn”

Highlighting the due diligence gap was subsequent advisor ‘churn’. According to the survey, 61% of respondents under the age of 45 that had changed advisors in the past said they changed because of a mismatch in the relationship, described as ‘looking for a different/specific expertise.’

If high-net-worth investors don’t feel they are in a trust-worthy, high-value relationship with their advisor, they end up switching, according to the survey. Respondents said they switched their advisor for reasons ranging from ‘investment performance’ to ‘I didn’t feel like a valued client’ to ‘I needed different or specific expertise.’

“By performing appropriate due diligence, wealthy families could select an advisor that is a better fit from the beginning, instead of expending a lot of time and energy with the wrong advisor,” added Mr. Penney.

Additional results:

According to the survey:

  • 30% of respondents switched advisors due to ‘advisor retired’; 24% as a result of ‘investment performance,’ and 18% responded ‘didn’t feel like a valued client.’
  • 35% of respondents said ‘there was a specific life event that triggered the need to seek professional advice’ – 54% of those ages 35-44 specified a life event. These life events include ‘received an inheritance’ and ‘change in employment situation.’
  • When finding a new advisor, 46% of all respondents were ‘referred by a friend, family member of colleague,’ 23% were ‘referred by a professional advisor, e.g., accountant or lawyer,’ and 23% used ‘social media, blog or other online source.’ Of those ages 45-54, 70% were ‘referred by a friend, family member or colleague.’

Dynasty Connect

Dynasty Financial Partners introduced an end client referral program called Dynasty Connect. Dynasty Connect is a concierge service that helps high-net-worth individuals and families in the U.S. connect with independent financial advisors well-suited to meet their needs.

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Survey Methodology

The Dynasty Connect Survey sampled 1,000 respondents between April 20 and May 1, 2023. The survey has a 3.1% margin of error. All respondents work with a financial advisor and have a say in household financial decision-making. The respondents each had a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets. The survey was conducted in partnership with Absolute Engagement.

About Absolute Engagement

Absolute Engagement was founded by Julie Littlechild in 2014 and empowers advisory firms to drive personalized engagement at scale. In addition to conducting on-going investor and advisor research, the firm provides innovative engagement technology that reveals the true needs of prospects and clients and allows advisors to respond in real time. Absolute Engagement and its services support advisor leaders in making better strategic and operational decisions. To learn more, visit:

About Dynasty

Dynasty is a provider of technology-enabled wealth management solutions and business services for financial advisory firms primarily focused on serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients. Dynasty provides access to a comprehensive platform of software and technology tools, business services and holistic investment management capabilities through an open-architecture platform, delivered via a suite of proprietary and third-party technologies. Dynasty’s technology, tools and services provide advisory firms the supported independence to launch their business, scale their operations and grow — both organically and inorganically — while also allowing them to be more focused on and better equipped to serve their clients.

For more than a decade, Dynasty has championed the benefits of independent wealth management for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients and has contributed to the movement of assets from traditional brokerage channels to the independent channels of wealth management. As Dynasty is becoming a recognized industry leader, the company differentiates itself through a deep understanding of and strong relationship with its clients, a comprehensive offering of services and technology-enabled solutions, the ability to leverage its size and scale to invest in continuously enhancing its offering, the flexibility and seamlessness afforded by a modular technology solution, its entrepreneurial culture, and experienced and committed management team.

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Release Summary

Surprising Due Diligence Gap Uncovered: Most High-Net-Worth Investors Hire First Advisor They Speak With, According to New Dynasty Connect Survey


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