This article appears in the Mid-October issue of Investment Executive. Subscribe to the print edition, read the digital edition or read the articles online.

The Advisors’ Report Card is a summation of Investment Executive’s (IE) three 2023 Report Cards. Between Jan. 3 and June 13, IE interviewed 1,353 advisors and planners with 31 firms to conduct the 2023 Brokerage Report Card, Dealers’ Report Card and Report Card on Banks.

The first Report Card was published in June; the two others were published in September. The Insurance Advisors’ Report Card, included in summary reports up until 2022, is no longer conducted. For all year-over-year comparisons, the insurance results were omitted from the 2022 data.

Across all Report Cards, respondents must have worked with the firms for which they were giving ratings for at least one year. They also were required to have worked in the industry for at least three years, among other licensing and channel-specific requirements.  

Seven research journalists conducted the interviews: Aneesh Chatterjee, Emily Fox, Roland Inacay, Tiana Kirton, Diane Lalonde, Alisha Mughal and Serge Rousskikh. They asked advisors and planners to provide a performance rating and an importance rating for the categories that applied to the firms or banks for which they worked or processed business. The ratings could range between zero (meaning “poor” or “unimportant”) and 10 (meaning “excellent” or “critically important”). Advisors also were asked to rate the likelihood that they would recommend their firms to other advisors.  

The Advisors’ Report Card examines the 26 categories relevant to all or most industry channels. Neither “systems for fee-based advisors” nor “support for insurance planning” applies to the retail bank divisions covered in the Report Card on Banks.  

For 2023, IE removed two categories included in past years to reduce repetition with Net Promoter Score results: “corporate culture” and “reputation with clients & prospects.”

Furthermore, some past categories were edited to reflect the industry’s evolution: “technology tools & advisor desktop” is now split into “client relationship tools” and “general technology training & IT support”; “support for fee-based models” is now “systems for fee-based advisors”; “social media support” is now “social media training & compliance”; the “support for wills & estate planning” and “support for tax planning” categories were combined; “leadership stability” is now “leadership team”; and “support for dealing with regulatory changes” was folded into “compliance relationship & support.”  

Advisors in all channels were asked two supplemental questions: 1) what percentage of their books were composed of retired clients in the asset-decumulation stage, and what challenges those clients face; and 2) to rate (and comment on), on a scale of zero to 10, the difficulty of guiding and advising clients in the current economic environment, considering inflation, interest rates and other pressures. 

See the 2023 results.