Contnuing education concept: pixelated words continuing education on digital background, 3d render

Trust, expertise, and ethics, are qualities that Canadian investors most value in their advisors, according to new research published from the Investments & Wealth Institute (IWI, formerly IMCA), a Greenwood, Colo.-based professional association.

The research, which was carried out by Toronto-based AbsoluteEngagement, found that investors “prioritize qualitative factors indicative of client-centric service when evaluating their advisors,” IWI says in a news release.

Of these factors, trustworthiness ranks first (92%), followed by knowledge (89%), and high ethical standards (87%).

In terms of the services that advisors provide, clients rank investment management expertise first (61%), followed by financial planning (40%), wealth management (33%) and retirement solutions (25%).

Additionally, the research founds that investors value advisors that voluntarily pursue professional education that goes beyond industry minimum requirements.

The survey also found that 75% of investors “wanted to know their advisor had done more than meet the minimum educational requirements to become registered or licensed,” IWI says.

Investors rated three characteristics of advisor education programs as particularly important:

  • knowing their advisor would lose their credentials if they failed to meet ethical standards (89%);
  • knowing their advisor had met a rigorous set of standards (e.g., ethics, experience, education, examinations) to be certified (88%); and
  • knowing their advisor had met ongoing standards (e.g., annual continuing education) in order to maintain his/her credentials (89%).

Moreover, the survey found that 40% of clients said that they would like to know more about their advisor’s credentials, but only 30% said that their advisors discuss this information with them.

The research is based on a survey of 444 Canadian investors and 585 U.S. investors, and was carried out in August 2017.