Emerging affluent investors, as opposed to mass affluent investors, have greater wealth potential and may be on the path to becoming millionaires, according to Fidelity’s latest Millionaire Outlook study.
The study also offers suggestions for advisors on how to add this group of investors to their client base.
Fidelity defined emerging affluent investors as those between 21-49 years old with investable assets of $50,000 to less than $250,000 and household incomes of $100,000 or more.
Mass affluent investors are between 21-54 years old with investable assets of $250,000 to less than $1 million, or over age 55 and with investable assets of $500,000 to less than $1 million.
“Interestingly, women make up 68 percent of the emerging affluent group and one in four is non-white,” says Bob Oros head of the RIA segment for Fidelity clearing and custody. He suggests advisors should have diversity in their staff so they can align the right professional with the right client.
In addition, less than a quarter of this group are knowledgeable about investing and many feel that advisors are not interested in them due to their lower level of assets. "They want their advisors to take on an educator role and explain what they are investing in and why," says Oros.
Emerging affluent want to be engaged in the investment process and they want their communications with advisors to be fluid, quick and effective. “They want interaction, but not necessarily face to face across the table,” says Oros. “Technology plays a big role here because these individuals are quite comfortable with it.”
According to the study, emerging affluent investors have several wealth-building factors on their side and they share some similarities with current millionaires, which Fidelity defined as having between $1 million and $10 million investable assets.
On average, emerging affluent investors are 40 years of age. This gives them 27 years before they reach the normal retirement age of 67 to build wealth.
Many of the emerging affluent are working in similar careers as current millionaires, including information technology, finance and accounting. While they might be at lower-level positions than current millionaires, they have many years ahead of them for career advancement, according to Fidelity.