Investor Knowledge and Experience with Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

Angela A. Hung, Noreen Clancy and Jeff Dominitz

in Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696819
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732089 | DOI:

Series: Pensions Research Council

Investor Knowledge and Experience with Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

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The financial services industry has been changing so fast and growing so complex that broker-dealers and investment advisers, which are subject to different regulations, are no longer easy to distinguish from one another. Since the 1990s, market demands have introduced new business practices and firms have taken many different forms, making it harder for investors to distinguish these traditional distinctions. Given such complexity, it is not surprising that typical investors are confused about the nature of the services their financial professional offers. Many of those surveyed, as well as focus group participants, did not understand the key distinctions between investment advisers and broker-dealers: their duties, the titles they use, the services they offer, or the fees they charge. They attributed part of their confusion to the dozens of titles used in the field, including generic titles such as financial advisor and financial consultant, as well as advertisements that claim “we do it all.”

Keywords: financial services; investments; service; brokerage; advisers; advice; professional; accounts; household

Chapter.  10254 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Pensions

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