Investors’ Stated Desire to Consolidate Their Finances Outstrips Action


Investors’ Stated Desire to Consolidate Their Finances Outstrips Action

A simplified, streamlined user experience is key to converting interest into assets

June 2019, BOSTON - Overall, 49% of affluent market respondents indicate that they would prefer to use a single institution to serve the bulk of their financial needs. This preference is strongest among investors under age 30 (66%), before tapering off lightly among older cohorts but stabilizing at approximately 46% for respondents over age 50, according to new research from Cerulli Associates,a global research and consulting firm.

Investors’ stated desire to consolidate their finances is outweighed by their lack of action. A complicated on-boarding process is a deal-breaker for many investors who lack the time and the attention to consolidate with a single institution. “While the idea is appealing, the steps needed to get there are not. Creating a path of least resistance is crucial for walletshare growth,” states Scott Smith, director of advice relationships at Cerulli. “Providers committed to growing walletshare should explore how they can use technology to complement asset transition specialists to help shepherd investors through this process.”

Overall, 27% of affluent respondents indicate that the ease and convenience of doing business is their reason for wanting to centralize assets with one financial provider. To strengthen their client relationships in the future, financial platform providers will not only have to develop digital applications that interest clients and prospects, but will also need to assure that they are being used frequently and effectively. “Cool but unused tools are just expensive ornaments, not value creators. In addition to their normal quality control tests, developers should include extensive product usability demos by testers across age cohorts,” explains Smith.

Regardless of their ultimate strengths and weaknesses, how a firm is thought of by investors will drive future client acquisition. While quality and ease of use are highly subjective, they are major initiatives at most providers.

Cerulli’s latest report, U.S. Retail Investor Products and Platforms 2019: Constructing Sustainable Platforms is designed as a road map to help product manufacturers and distributors understand retail investors’ product preferences, product use, and product needs to better inform product development and distribution initiatives.


These findings and more are from The Cerulli Report―U.S. Retail Investor Products and Platforms 2019: Constructing Sustainable Platforms.


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