Articles for Advisors

Knowledge, Advisor Usage Low Among DC Plan Participants

 For many of the Americans who have employee-hosted or sponsored retirement plans, signing up for the 401(k) is the extent of their investing functions. The rest of their money is either spent or placed within some sort of simple savings account.

There are some investors who step out beyond their defined contribution plan and use other funds to make more complicated investments, but research indicates that DC plan participants are often not the sort to get involved in more complicated or riskier investment products and vehicles.

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President's Blog - Understanding Wealthy Women

 Let’s consider the wealthy woman. Advisors and financial providers should not make uniformed strategy decisions for female investors without knowing how today’s wealthy woman is unique.

It would be a mistake to make sweeping generalizations about female investors. However, the Spectrem study has created a comprehensive look at women from a number of demographic standpoints and asked them dozens of questions that relate to their finances, work-life balance, opinions about their wealth status and their relationship with financial advisors.  

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The Questions Wealthy Women Ask Themselves

 Women in the American workplace find themselves dealing with unique issues which affect every aspect of their lives, with an emphasis on its effect on their economic and financial status and future.

In the matter of employment and advancement, many women face unasked questions or unintended discrimination over the issues about either eventually having a family or dealing with the family they currently have.

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How Wealthy Women Perceive Wealth

 Apparently, wealth is in the eye of the beholder. So is the definition of wealthy.

Spectrem’s new quantitative research into the financial attitudes and behaviors of wealthy women finds that there are distinct definitions of their wealth status and lines they draw regarding the value of that status. The study – Successfully Growing Your Business with Wealthy Women – asked 350 women with a net worth over $1 million (not including primary residence) to define the significance of their financial status.

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When Educators Consider the Bottom Line

 Asking investors what they do for a living is not done out of idle curiosity, or just to make conversation. Spectrem research shows how occupation affects and in some ways determines how investors will choose to invest.

Investors from different occupations also view their financial situation differently, even when they are in the same wealth segment. While investors in one occupation will see their wealth level as a comfort zone, investors in another occupation will see that same wealth level as insufficient.

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Plan Participants Question Their Wealth Status

The reason American workers sign up for a defined contribution plan from their employer is because they are thinking about their retirement and are hoping the funds that are invested in a DC plan grow to the point they make retirement a bit more comfortable.

But signing up for a defined contribution plan through your employer is an indication that you are worried about your savings and other retirement income streams enough that you want the extra cushion that comes from a 401(k). It is easy to understand, then, that defined contribution plan participants do not see themselves as wealthy individuals. 

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President's Blog - Getting Educated on Educators

There are not many questions advisors can ask investors that are more revealing from an investment standpoint than “What do you do for a living?”

There are few answers to that question more responsible for the way an investor invests than when they say they are in the field of education.   

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How Educators View Financial Advisors

Teachers are practically required to be outgoing and willing to interact with others. They not only have a desire to teach others, they often spend their free time educating themselves.

As investors, educators are cautious but willing to learn more about their investment options. Advisors working with educators will find their relationship with those investors to be colored by the careful manner educators perceive advisors.

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Retiring after a Career as an Educator

As occupations go, few are more noble than that of an educator. While teachers and professors are certainly paid for their efforts, and in some cases paid well, these educators do spend their lives trying to educate others with an aim toward creating an intelligent and well-informed community. 

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How Age Impacts Participant Outlook

Attitude can impact investing. People with a positive attitude are going to think more optimistically about the possibilities of growth in investments, while negative people are going to imagine the worst and react accordingly.


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