you can make your life easier by adding a reminder to your calendar to seek (or assign others to) those data points. A standing reminder set for a slower point in the month may help ensure that you find this data. Having data may not solve your marketing needs, but as GI Joe said, “knowing is half the battle.”
We like to include new sources of statistics and studies in our newsletters to financial advisors. Our goal is not only to keep advisors abreast of changes and trends, but also help them identify emerging needs of their clients. But it seems like the projections we use are outdated instantly. Take this quote from JP Morgan’s 2022 projections. “After two years of uncertainty and lockdowns that resulted in the largest drop in global GDP history, the 2022 outlook is looking brighter.” If by brighter you mean I can see the marshmallow I’m roasting from the glow of the burning fire that was our expectations for recovery, then yes, it is brighter. Aside from relying on professional groups and advisory sources like BCG, where can advisors turn to for reliable studies on investor trends and retirement data?
First, let’s be clear – we aren’t talking about investing news. Many news sources and investment analysts’ newsletters like Seeking Alpha and Axios’s Pro Rata are current and easy to locate, if sometimes not budget friendly. Instead, we mean where you can find information about investor concerns, whether they are institutional or individual.
Old Faithful. Sources from academic centers may be less frequent, and sometimes harder to decipher how to apply their results to your marketing process. However, their research can help find important trends. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College often includes information about demographic shifts. Those shifts can help advisors evaluate their marketing plan, to identify where they may be able to find new prospective clients. They identify their areas of research as “[a]nything involving money and retirement: Social Security, 401(k)s, health, taxes, home equity, older workers.” Working papers include topics on 401(k)s like “Would 401(k) Participants Use a Social Security “Bridge” Option?” and Do Retirees Want Constant, Increasing, or Decreasing Consumption?” Their briefs may also be of use. Recent briefs cover topics including whether women in the workforce are prepared for retirement. Some academic and think tank sources of retirement trend information may be centered more on social inequality. Take for example the Brookings Institute. Among their more recent publications on retirement trends is a paper on “Later Retirement, Inequality in Old Age, and the Growing Gap in Longevity Between Rich and Poor. Yet hidden in that paper are statistics on delayed retirement that can be helpful in working with clients in their mid-career.
Look Beyond. Some sources of retirement trends may be in sources you already track. For example, many advisors pay close attention to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for their monthly reports on consumer price index or employment statistics. These snapshots of the current market are essential for day-to-day analysis. But wait, there’s more. BLS also provides information on access to benefits. This may allow you to drill down into specific niche industries and demographics. For example, if you were looking to launch a marketing effort towards increasing participation in year-end investments in IRA products? You might want to know the percent change in state and local government workers with access to nonproduction bonuses for the construction, natural resources, and maintenance professions. The BLS has you covered. They’ll provide you with graphs and charts, and downloadable excel charts. It’s a 2% increase since 2020 with that labor sector now having a 40% access to bonuses.
The trick to staying on this information may be in how you go about it. Many of these organizations don’t have sign-up options for finding new releases. And the BLS’s information on demographic trends most likely won’t make your google alert page. But you can make your life easier by adding a reminder to your calendar to seek (or assign others to) those data points. A standing reminder set for a slower point in the month may help ensure that you find this data. Having data may not solve your marketing needs, but as GI Joe said, “knowing is half the battle.”
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal