We bring you an interesting survey from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, which examined how people responded to a range of professional titles.
It turns out that ‘adviser’ is perceived as a well-respected calling. Professionals employed in financial services would do well to append it to their names, because in people’s minds, the moniker implies respectability and inspires trust.
The survey team found that people respond well and expect satisfactory service from financial professionals who are described as financial planners, financial advisors and investment advisers. Doctors and lawyers found equal favor, pretty good company in the traditional way of thinking. Meanwhile, stockbrokers and life insurance agents were lumped together with politicians and car salesman. Now that must hurt.
Titles that suggest a role centered on providing advice are better received by the general population, the survey found. Adviser, planner, consultant, counselor – these words indicate a financial professional that is there to serve. Designators that suggest the primacy of sales, like agent or broker, are taken with some suspicion and even disdain.
Curiously, survey respondents seemed to understand that financial advisers and stockbrokers have similar skill sets and missions. Nevertheless, the word ‘adviser’ seems sufficient for one to be characterized similarly with trusted doctors and devoted legal advocates. In cognition, simple things mean a lot.
The survey’s author, Professor Derek Tharp, identified what he called the “loyalty component” as the key to this affair. People like lawyers, who sometimes rate a mixed reception (they’re associated with politicians), when they hire them, because their bedrock brief calls for utter loyalty to the client. People apparently associate stockbrokers with a raw profit motive – understandable enough, but not to be trusted. Meanwhile, advisers are perceived as servants worthy of their trust.
For more information, please read:
Investors put more stock in investment professionals wearing ‘adviser’ label | Investment News