Cogent Reports
The Future of the Financial Advisor™ quantifies and monitors key issues facing the financial advisory marketplace. Regulatory pressures stemming from the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary ruling and the uncertainty of it’s future, new competitive forces such as roboadvisors, innovations in technology and evolving client expectations will all impact advisors. For asset managers, the report gives firms a better understanding of advisors’ challenges in order to strengthen advisor relations and for advisory firms, it provides insight into employee retention and acquisition.


Wealth management industry leaders have trusted Cogent’s advisor research for almost 20 years.

Our data are proven to be reliable year over year, and we have the knowledge to help you make confident business decisions.

This report gives you the tools you need to:

  • Track the impact of the DOL fiduciary ruling
    on advisor business practices
  • Optimize technology offerings and
  • Leverage (or position against) automated
    advice offerings
  • Develop effective strategies to best support
    advisors in the future


Reliable data are the backbone of any good research. We can promise you we have the best data in the market. Why?

We have:

  • A dedicated sampling scientist that carefully
    curates the industry’s leading database
  • 19 years of experience with advisors—we
    know them and they know us
  • Industry experts who fully understand the
    results and implications of our research

The specifics behind our methodology for The Future of the Financial Advisor:

  • Web-based survey
  • Representative cross section of over 800
    advisors across the National Wirehouse,
    Regional, Independent, RIA and Bank
  • Retirement plan advisors evaluated by DC
  • Stratified sample to allow for subgroup
    analysis by AUM, distribution channel,
    tenure, compensation type, product usage,

Percentage of AUM in DC plans
• Percentage of compensation from DC plans
• Number and size of plans managed
Services provided to DC plan sponsors and participants
• Impact of fee disclosure regulations
• Number of plan providers typically recommended
• Number and type of investment options typically recommended
• QDIA option used most often
• Target date fund recommendation

Areas of Inquiry

Impact of DOL Fiduciary Ruling

  • Attitudinal impact of the DOL fiduciary ruling
  • Most desirable types of DOL fiduciary
    support from asset managers
  • Anticipated utilization of the best interest
    contract exemption (BICE)
  • Support/opposition of the repeal of the DOL
    fiduciary rule

Advances in Technology

  • Current usage of technology and CRM
  • Best-in-class mutual fund and ETF provider
    technology and the characteristics that
    make these firms stand out
  • Advisors’ wish list for provider technology
  • Impact on and reliance of external and
    internal wholesalers in light of technology

Business Practices

  • Current and anticipated percent of feebased
  • Proportion of client assets invested in model
    portfolios and managed money solutions
  • Availability and future interest in third-party
    digital advisory programs (aka robo-advisors)

Advisory Firm Satisfaction/Channel

  • Overall advisory firm satisfaction
  • Satisfaction with DOL fiduciary support and
    solutions offered by advisory firms
  • Likelihood to switch advisory firms within
    the next two years
  • Channel migration (type of firm likely to
    switch to)
  • Rationale for switching firms


Subscription Details

Publication Date: March 2017


  • Detailed report with charts including
    summary and strategic implications
  • Custom data cuts and survey work by
    senior analysts available

Investment: $15,000

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