Unveiling the Underlying Concerns: 5 Reasons Why People Lack Trust in Financial Advisors

Fable Wealth - Sheldon Botes - Financial Advisor - South Africa - SMB


Establishing trust is the bedrock of a successful advisory relationship. Trustworthy advisors embrace the responsibility of guiding you through various financial decisions over the long term. By understanding and addressing the concern people have about using an advisor, you can better foster a relationship on mutual understanding and shared objectives.

1. Lack of Transparency

One reason people battle to trust financial advisors is a lack of transparency. Some advisors may not fully disclose their fees or potential conflicts of interest, leaving clients feeling uncertain about the advisor’s motivations. Transparency is paramount for financial advisors, as it builds trust, fosters open communication, and ensures clients can make informed decisions with confidence.

2. Bad Actors in the Industry

Instances of financial advisors engaging in fraudulent activities or unethical behavior have significantly eroded public trust in the industry. These incidents have generated skepticism among potential clients, who are now more discerning in selecting trustworthy advisors. Rebuilding trust requires a concerted effort from ethical advisors to prioritise transparency, act in their client’s best interests, and demonstrate integrity in all financial dealings.

3. Complexity & Jargon

The use of complex financial industry jargon by advisors can often confuse clients, resulting in a lack of trust. When clients struggle to grasp the advice given, it can further fuel mistrust and skepticism, emphasising the importance for advisors to prioritise clear and understandable communication to foster trust and build strong client relationships.

4. Commission-based Compensation

Commission-based earnings may lead clients to worry that advisors will prioritise products or services that generate higher commissions. Transparency, clear communication, and a commitment to acting in the client’s best interest are vital for advisors to build trust and overcome skepticism related to commission-based compensation.

5. Perception of Self-Interest

The perception of self-interest among financial advisors arises from instances where advisors push unnecessary products or fail to disclose risks adequately. Ethical advisors counter the perception of selfinterest by aligning their actions with their recommendations and living their own lives in a manner that reflects responsible financial decisionmaking.


It is crucial to acknowledge that while valid concerns exist, there are a significant number of trustworthy and ethical financial advisors who genuinely prioritise their client’s best interests. By conducting thorough research, seeking recommendations, and actively asking questions, individuals can identify reputable advisors with whom they feel comfortable entrusting their financial well-being.