Rapid changes in the investment and fiscal landscape are prompting the affluent to get proactive across their wealth management plans before things really heat up.
Users of our service tell us it is very interesting – and reassuring – to discover what other affluent investors are thinking about when it comes to managing their wealth. Here, we share key investor trends from the first part of the year.
The team at findaWEALTHMANAGER.com is delighted to have seen a 24% year-over-year rise in the number of affluent investors coming to us to meet and compare potential wealth managers.
We keep a close eye on factors like the services our users require and their financial situation, along with regularly speaking to investors about their broader preferences around investment products, communications and services. This is so we can help wealth managers ensure they are evolving their offerings precisely in line with clients’ needs, and to enable us to publish the most interesting and relevant content for our users.
We like to share trends that we see coming through from time to time, so that you can get a sense of where your peers are seeking financial planning and investment opportunities, and what can be achieved with professional help.
As ever, our user figures from the first three months of 2017 show a really diverse set of drivers encouraging investors to come to us and explore their options. Predictably perhaps, the majority (55%) of users were seeking help with investing, but there were also a significant proportion (17%) who were dissatisfied with their current wealth manager and an appreciable amount (4%) seeking private client lending services.
Most significantly, there was also a marked rise in the proportion of HNWIs coming to the site to get proactive about their pension plans.
In the first quarter of the year, 21% of users said they were retired compared to 14% the year before, while our average user age rose from 47.8 to 51.8 years. What’s more, in the first three months of 2017 30% of users sought pension guidance, 25% tax advice and 24% help with planning family finances.
What was also really striking was the slump we saw in the proportion of users wanting an advisory investment management relationship, as opposed to one where the client makes the ultimate decision on all portfolio changes. (For an explanation of the differences between advisory, discretionary and execution-only services see here.)
Clearly, demand for discretionary investment management continues to grow off the back of continued geopolitical uncertainty. In the first quarter of 2017, 72% of users wanted to cede decision-making to a professional, compared to 59% a year before. In these troubled times, it seems that the worry – and time expenditure – required to monitor and manage a portfolio properly is more than some investors want to take on.
Elsewhere, we saw that investors continue to keep an open mind when it comes to the brand profile of the wealth managers they are weighing up. In fact, over the first quarter of this year, well over half (55%) of our users said they were indifferent as to brand.
That said, 24% expressed a preference for a global group and 8% for a regional wealth manager, and this why we have assembled a panel of leading wealth managers representing a very wide spread of business models and brands. Our digital marketplace covers the entire spectrum of institutions – large and small, traditional and more recently established, independent and bank-owned – so that we can offer exactly the best match for your wants and needs.
Through combining our smart online tool and human expertise, we are able to generate really precise matches. But we’ve kept things simple and fast for users. Our streamlined questionnaire generates a 15-point profile and then we have the most suitable firms come to you. With like-for-like comparisons on service, costs and performance made possible, you can then focus on the personality factors that foster long-term relationships.
We are always keen to hear any feedback investors might have on their wealth management experiences, so please do get in touch with anything you might like to share.