Fifty-five percent of individual investors think a financial adviser could help them, according to a survey by Opinion Research Corp. for TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

When asked to rank the category most likely to provide the best financial advice, survey respondents preferred independent financial advisers, named by 38%, by a wide margin; then friends and family, 24%; and an accountant, 18%.

When asked from whom they would feel more comfortable receiving advice, 60% said they are more comfortable getting financial advice from someone who is paid a flat fee or a percentage of assets rather than one who is paid on commission for products that they themselves sell, preferred by 23%.

Also, 51% of those questioned said they think the need for independent financial advice will grow in the next four years.

The survey, done in September using a random sample of 1,005 adult Americans, was released Monday by Opinion Research of Jersey City.

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