Friday, April 07, 2006

Financial Advice for the 'Mass Affluent'

Plenty of food for thought in this New York Times article, "Financial Advice for the 'Mass Affluent'."

Some 22 million American households have between $100,000 and $1 million to invest. Many of them will be joining the ranks of U.S. millionaires.

"These investors don't want packaged products, " says financial planner Debra Brede. "They want a tailored suit at a good price. They want value. This segment is so underserved that they are turning to their accountant or insurance agent for financial assistance and they end up getting sold whole life insurance instead of a personalized financial plan."

Many Mass Affluents don't see themselves as Merrill Lynch clients. They're not likely to look up the brokerage or wealth-management people at a large bank, either.

How can these households be provided with the the long-term guidance they want and need?

How can they be served without high fees and commissions that eat up too much of their nest eggs?

What marketing tools can be devised to attract these investors in a cost-controlled manner?

(Hey, nobody said this business was easy!)

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