The Public Trusts Fund Firms Over Brokerages
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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Public Trusts Fund Firms Over Brokerages

Mutual fund firms rank as the second most highly-trusted financial firms in the U.S., ahead of brokerages, insurance companies, large national banks, investment banks and private equity. Yet individuals still consider their own advisor or broker as their most trusted financial source, ahead of portfolio managers, corporate announcements, or financial services executives (as well as friends and family and cable TV investing show hosts).

Those are two of the findings from the "U.S. Financial Services Trust Barometer" just released by public relations firm Edelman. Building off of Edelmen's tenth annual trust and credibility survey, the brand new U.S. financial services trust barometer was built from telephone interviews in October and November with 500 individuals between 25 and 64 years in age.

Fund firms may want to take note. 59 percent of respondents said they trust mutual fund companies, above the 52 percent who trust life insurers and the 41 percent who trust brokerages. Yet 68 percent considered their own advisor or broker a trusted source of investing information, compared with 55 percent who pointed to a portfolio manager and only 32 percent who pointed to a financial services senior executive. (Financial services senior executives ranked last on that list, even behind "host of a cable television show on investing," i.e. Jim Cramer and others like him.)

Edelman sees the results as a good reason for fund firms to "unlock" their "most important assets," their advisors and brokers.

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