Trust in the financial services sector has increased among US retail investors since our last survey, and now nearly half express confidence in the industry.
While trust is the most important factor for a US investor when choosing an adviser, personal recommendations carry the same weight as a history of strong performance. More than three-quarters of American investors are likely to recommend their adviser to others. Communication is critical in this market, and a lack of responsiveness is more likely to end an advisory relationship than underperformance.
Trust is tested in times of crisis. US investors are much more likely to fear a financial crisis than they were two years ago. Nearly 40% of US retail investors fear a crisis within the next three years. Geopolitics is the primary concern, but compared to investors in other markets, American investors are much more likely to fear a major cyberattack or hacking, or a terrorist attack that would impact the markets. However, nearly two-thirds of US retail investors have confidence that their investment management firms are well prepared if a crisis occurs.