Affluent Baby Boomers Don’t Want Financial Education

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Interesting study from Cogent Research on affluent baby boomers was featured in today’s Investment News. Key data points:

  • More than one-third of the 4,000 investors who were born between 1956 and 1964 with investible assets of more than $100,000 surveyed in the study said they don’t work with an investment adviser.
  • 57% of the respondents’ total investible assets were managed without the assistance of a financial adviser.

The article quoted Peggy Cabaniss, president of Lafayette, Calif.-based HC Financial Advisors Inc, as saying that the survey underscores the need for more education about financial planning.

My take: Affluent boomers don’t need — or want — to be educated about financial planning. They need to be convinced of the value of working with an advisor. These cranky investors don’t trust financial services firms, and are very aware of the conflict of interest scandals that have plagued the industry.

Mass media advertising isn’t going to fix the problem.

Financial firms have to target advisor-holdouts with direct communications that: 1) demonstrate what it’s like to work with an advisor; 2) are upfront and transparent about fees; and 3) provide compelling offers (a few firms have found success with invitations to dinner at a fancy, local restaurant) to get these potentially lucrative prospects to take action.

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