|Donald Jay Korn|
Years after the peak of the financial crisis, mass affluent investors remain pessimistic about their finances.
These investors are different now than they were before the 2008 stock market slide, largely because of the disconnect they feel between the recent performance of the market and the performance of the broad economy.
The mass affluent, which have net worth of
“The opportunity is there, for advisors with the right business model,” said
According to Walper, a number of advisors have a practice that fits this target market; for them, such clients are worth pursuing. “In addition,” he said, “some firms are starting to segment the lower end of the mass affluent market—say, households with
Walper said in a statement that, “Mass affluent investors can benefit greatly from financial advising services, but they’re significantly less likely than millionaires to seek out the counsel of a financial advisor due to perceived risks.” This reluctance leaves them vulnerable to running out of money in retirement and falling short of other financial goals, he pointed out, noting that such investors represent about 28.4 million U.S. households.
The Spectrem report listed these characteristics of the mass affluent:
As Spectrem’s report explains, “This is the group that bore the brunt of the corporate layoffs of the past few years, after seeing a considerable portion of their savings wiped out in the market crash of 2008-09. Almost two-thirds prefer a guaranteed rate of return for the majority of their assets.” In selecting investments, the primary concern of the mass affluent is the level of risk involved.
How should advisors approach clients who tend to have such concerns? “To work with mass affluent clients,” Walper said, “advisors should learn about their full financial picture. They might have credit issues, for example. Those should be addressed before advisors suggest these investors take more risk with their portfolio.”
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