March 2016 – Life Event’s Resources

Life’s most significant experiences, such as getting married or welcoming a child, often present new financial challenges. As investors pass through life’s stages, brokerage firms can provide valuable advice to help investors prepare for life’s milestones. In this month’s Broker Monitor Report, we examine our coverage group’s life events resources for everything from career transitions to managing the loss of a loved one. Offering advice on life’s major events can allow firms to connect with clients at some of the most important times of their lives as well as promote products and services that could be of use to investors going through these events.

Of the 18 firms in our coverage group, only 12 offer dedicated life events resources. The 67% of brokerages that provide these resources vary considerably in the number of topics covered as well as in the depth and quality of information provided. On average, firms cover roughly 13 different life events in their resources. The leading firm in terms of information presented provides checklists, articles and videos on 26 specific events.

Though the number of topics vary by firm, several topics are discussed by an overwhelming majority of firms. Getting married is the most frequently discussed event, covered by 83% of firms. Divorce, having children, financing children’s education and changing jobs follow closely, mentioned by 75% of firms respectively. Other commonly covered events include buying or selling a home (offered by 50% of firms), receiving a significant windfall (67%) and caring for an elderly loved one (50%). Firms also differentiate themselves by offering fresher, less cookie-cutter information, including planning for a volunteer vacation, home downsizing and preparing for an empty nest.

Three quarters of firms offer resources in dedicated sections easily accessible from the site’s main navigation. While some firms also offer engaging checklists and links to videos, the vast majority of content is presented in a standard, non-interactive article format.