January 2013 Trends & Highlights – Connecting with Millennials, 2013 Economic Outlooks and Fiscal Cliff Roundup

by on Feb 13, 2013

Financial firms rung in the New Year with economic and market outlooks for 2013 and a sober reminder to prospects and clients that it’s almost time for us all to pay our taxes. Firms also continued to address the fallout from the fiscal cliff and we saw a renewed interest from firms in the financial situation of the Millennial generation. Several firms introduced new promotions aimed at connecting and improving their relationship with this coveted audience.

2013 Economic and Market Outlook Commentaries Continue
2013 economic and investment outlooks were also popular commentaries in January. Sixteen firms in four Monitor groups provided prospects and clients with predictions about how they expect markets to perform in the New Year. BlackRock focused on the bond market with a video on “Positioning Your Fixed Income Portfolio in 2013,” but for the most part, firms took a broad approach to their 2013 outlooks.

Millennial Generation Targeted in Research and a Contest
MassMutual promoted a contest on its Facebook page in which it offered users $20,000 towards college loan debt if they “Like” the page and send in their idea on how to reduce student debt. A related press release expressed sympathy to the Millennial generation for rising tuition prices. Allstate also posted a press release with information about the financial situation of Millennials. Research from the Allstate Foundation and Junior Achievement USA showed that the number of teens who report saving at least half of their income declined 28 percent in 2012 from 2011. We will continue to keep an eye out for financial firms that utilize this information and attempt to earn the business of Millennials.


MassMutual Facebook Contest

Investment Firms Provide More Fiscal Cliff Commentary
As we predicted last month, investment firms continued to remark on the fiscal cliff in January, with a focus this time on analyzing the tax legislation that came of it. All told, 21 of the firms we track across six different Monitor groups promoted a commentary about the cliff in the month of January. J.P. Morgan’s Market Bulletin commentary, “Progress on the Road to Fiscal Stability,” noted that the challenges of entitlement spending have yet to be addressed in any deal. Allianz utilized its pre-existing Fiscal Cliff Resource Center to post a commentary, “What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Investors.” In general, firms followed that model in commenting on the event, which could be with us for the near future.



J.P. Morgan Homepage Banner Promoting Fiscal Cliff Commentary

Tax Season Begins…
Tax season is upon us, and we noticed a number of financial firms updating their sites accordingly. PNC promoted a TurboTax Sweepstakes, in which customers were entered for a chance to win $5,000 when they signed up to try any TurboTax Online product. Fidelity promoted e-delivery of tax forms and offered a $20 cost reduction on TurboTax products. Franklin Templeton and Vanguard both provided additional information about cost-basis reporting. Other firms that updated their tax information in January were American Century, Charles Schwab, optionsXpress, Wells Fargo and Wells Fargo Advisors.



TurboTax Sweepstakes Promotional Image