The communication between an investor and his or her advisor is a key component of a successful and long-term relationship, but investors are sometimes critical of the communication tools advisors use to build that relationship, according to a report by Spectrem Group.

The research report of wealthy investors – Relationships with Advisors – shows that less than 60% of investors consider any of the communication tools used by investors to be of ‘excellent’ quality.

The communication tools in question include account statements, face-to-face meetings with advisors, the financial plan, access to the firm’s management or experts, newsletters and blogs.

An ‘excellent” rating was hard to come by, as only 58% of Mass Affluent investors – those with a net worth between US$100,000 and US$1 million Not Including Primary Residence – found their account statements to be ‘excellent’ (although ‘account statements’ got the best grade of all communication tools).

Fifty-six percent of Millionaire investors (those with a net worth between US$1 million and US$5 million NIPR) graded their account statements as excellent.

Fifty-four percent of Mass Affluent investors said that face-to-face meetings with advisors were excellent and 55% of those meetings with Millionaire investors were excellent. All other communication tools dropped below 50% excellent.

In regards to the written word, newsletters were deemed ‘excellent’ by only one-quarter of investors (25% Mass Affluent, 23% Millionaire). Even worse were blogs, with only 10% of blogs being deemed excellent by Mass Affluent investors and only 9% deemed ‘excellent’ by Millionaire investors.

Very few investors rated advisor communication tools as poor, with overall percentages always ranging around 5% or below. There are, however, differences in some categories, and age often has a lot to do with the differences.

Seven percent of all investors think advisor newsletters are ‘poor’ and that number jumps to 14% of investors aged 44 and under. Again, overall only 5% of Mass Affluent investors consider their access to top management or experts is poor, but 12% of investors aged 44 and under believe their communication with top management is poor.

Blogs are disrespected, as 23% of all Mass Affluent investors consider them ‘poor’ and that percentage is almost doubled (43%) among investors 65 years of age and older.