New research shows investors are starting to understand the reasons behind performance. Kristen Paech reports.

Investors are often accused of playing the blame game. They’re easy to please when markets are rising and portfolio values are soaring skywards but when the going gets tough they are quick to point the finger – usually at their financial planner. However, recent research indicates investor attitudes are changing.

Findings from the Lifeplan ICFS Financial Advice Satisfaction Index, which measures changes in the three key attributes that most impact a person’s willingness to recommend their financial planner, show financial planners are not being held accountable for recent hits to investors’ portfolios.

According to research by the University of Adelaide’s International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS), the key attributes are: trustworthiness of the planner; clients’ perception of how their investments have performed; and the technical abilities of the planner.

The index, published every six months since its inception in April 2007, shows that while continuing market uncertainty has caused investors to question the technical ability of their advisers, their perception of their planners’ performance has actually increased by 7 per cent. Interestingly, when the index was first measured, performance rated the lowest of all three attributes, despite the fact that Australia had been experiencing a long-running bull market

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