Advisor Survey Results: The Most Challenging Client Type

Over the past few months, we asked advisors which type of client is the most challenging to work with, and the results are probably not too surprising: nearly one-third of advisors shared that the most challenging type of client is one who wants to beat the market. A little more than one-fourth of advisors shared that the most challenging client is one who cannot stick to a plan, followed by a little less than one-fourth of advisors who shared that clients who don’t want to take responsibility for their behaviors as the third most challenging client type.

Note that advisors in our survey have an interest in behavioral science as part of their practice, so it is a convenience sample. However, it is interesting that the most challenging request from a client, as rated by advisors in our study, is one related to behavioral finance – an area of much discussion of late due to Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize. Despite the publicity and discussion within financial services about this groundbreaking research, much of the substance of his work hasn’t been adequately distilled and shared with the broader population of individuals seeking financial advice (and, of course, the broader population in general). Part of serving as a trusted advisor includes education and enlightenment: helping clients who desire to “beat the market” to understand the value of a long-term strategy.

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