August 2015: Client Segmentation

The July Mutual Fund Monitor – Advisor report assesses the resources that our coverage firms supply in order to help advisors seek out and serve non-traditional clients. Namely, the explore materials regarding women, millennials, same-sex couples, and families with disabled persons. Millennials and women present an increasingly important client segment that commands attention from the financial services industry. Furthermore, same-sex couples with newly won marriage rights, and families with disabled persons facing emotional and financial issues are also increasingly in need of financial guidance. Every firm takes a unique stance on how they address non-traditional clients, with some placing more emphasis on these individuals than others. Due to this, our report serves as a catalogue of the current landscape; therefore, no grades were distributed. We considered the following parameters in our analysis:

  • Type of client addressed
  • Format/Presentation
  • Topic and messaging focus

Our analysis sheds light on the general lack of resources that help advisors capitalize and serve non male baby boomer clients, signaling that a need for more resources is needed. Of the 19 coverage group firms we track, 12 of them offer resources that fell within our research scope. From those 12 firms, 75% supply advisors with resources on working with women, 66% address opportunities with millennials, and 41% discuss the financial rights of married same-sex couples. Our analysis finds that the most underrepresented group is clients who have a disabled family member, which only two firms discuss.

41% of firms offer commentaries explaining how same-sex marriage legislation opens up financial spousal benefits to a wider net of individuals. Materials on working for families with disabled persons were the most sparse, with only two firms in our analysis supplying advisors with commentaries addressing issues related to inheritance, saving, medical expenses, and providing empathic financial guidance. One of the most common resource formats that were cited are presentations, with 67% of firms offering these.

For millennials, sentiment towards the financial services industry, and intergenerational wealth transfer were recurring topics. In terms of women, divorce, widowhood, investor sentiment were frequently addressed. Communication preferences of each group were also frequent themes. Resources that addressed same-sex couples focused on the financial rights of spouses, while materials for families with disabled persons most often emphasized the importance of ensuring a plan for care in the event of a guardians’ demise.

Of the 12 Mutual Fund Monitor-Advisors firms included in this report, we noted the following key findings:

  • 75% discuss women investors
  • 66% address millennials
  • 41% examine same-sex couples
  • 16% offer resources on serving families with disabled person(s)
  • 50% provide informational slide decks