The Great Recession may be over, but various research reports paint a vivid picture of the lingering effects. One telling example: Investors remain cynical about whether advisors have their best interests at heart. According to SEI's Future Wealth Report, 48% of respondents had no expectation of objectivity from their provider.

Overall, findings from the different surveys indicate three necessary attributes for success as an advisor: an ability to empathize with the client's feelings about their finances; having a specific plan for getting a client back on track from the recession; and the communication skills to convey that plan so clients can easily comprehend it.

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