Financial advisors who focus only on their existing clients without looking to the younger generations are missing opportunities for future business, says a new survey by Fidelity Investments.
At the same time, RIA and broker-dealer firm executives should be looking to all employees for innovative ideas for their practices, Fidelity says.
Fidelity polled 104 RIA and broker-dealer executives at the recent Executive Forum attended by Fidelity clients and released the Fidelity Investments Poll today.
Most executives are focusing their firms’ efforts on their current client base, which is made up primarily of baby boomers, rather than focusing on the next generation of investors, the survey says.
Two-thirds of executives say that boomers, those aged 49 to 67, and matures, those 68 and older, are the investor groups that most influence their innovation strategies. Less than one-quarter say they focus on Gen X, those 34 to 48 years of age, and Gen Y, those 18 to 33 years of age.
“While boomers hold the bulk of the nation’s wealth today, there is a significant wealth shift looming—a transfer of a projected $1 trillion from the boomer generation to Gen X and Gen Y every year for the next 40 years,” says Michael Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services.
“Firms focused on serving their current base, while also anticipating and adapting to changing investor dynamics, may be the best positioned to capture these assets in motion,” he adds.
As far as coming up with innovative ideas for capturing that wealth, the executives say they have difficulty changing employees’ mindset from focusing on baby boomers.
Nearly half (47 percent) of the executives are relying on the executive teams in the firms to generate new ideas, rather than looking to all employees, including younger ones, to come up with innovative ideas for attracting new and younger clients.
Yet some of the firm leaders recognize that good ideas can come from anywhere and one quarter report the most passionate employees generate the majority of ideas.