On March 2 and March 21, we surveyed a cohort of our readership, asking them how they felt about the financial services industry. Guess what? Even financial advisors don't trust financial services firms. And remember: this report — we call it The Financial Advisor Pulse Study — was conducted a year into the market rally and well after the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. It was also a month before the SEC brought fraud charges against Goldman Sachs.

Here was our question: “How trustworthy do you personally consider each type of firm to be?” The percentage who answered “extremely trust worthy” or “somewhat trustworthy” was quite low. Indeed, the percentage hasn't budged much since the fourth quarter of 2008, a time of real crisis.