Where Are Affluent Investors Getting Their Financial Information?


In politics, it’s who you know if you want to get ahead. Regarding personal finances, it’s what you know.

Financial Literacy; Do the Rich Know Something We Don’t,  a Spectrem Group white paper, examines the attitudes of Affluent households about how they perceive their financial knowledge.   How do they rate themselves? How important is financial knowledge to them? Who and what are they consulting to gain this knowledge?

To download this complimentary Spectrem Group White Paper, click here.

Wealthier households tend to put greater stock in being financially literate concerning financial products and investments, our wealth market research finds. What are their preferred platforms for getting it?  

A majority (54 percent) of Millionaire investors still prefer to get their financial information the old fashioned way; by reading an article, while nearly four-in-ten prefer talking in person to someone.  While less than 5 percent opt toward watching a video, of these, the highest percentage primarily watches financial information videos, followed by videos created by financial commentators, and videos on current financial events. They are less interested in watching videos devoted to stock tips.

Millennials, who came of age during America’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, are also making financial literacy a priority. While Twitter is considered to be more of a “social” social media platform, Millennials, especially, are using it to boost their knowledge of the financial world. Six-in-ten Millennials surveyed report they follow news commentators and financial and/or investment commentators on Twitter. That’s a higher percentage that follows athletes, and movie stars.

Millennials, too, are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to express interest in reading financial blogs. They rate their interest in reading such a blog on their advisor’s site at 63.49 on a 100-point scale. There is even more interest in reading a financial blog on the websites of the major financial media sites (69.80) and other financial websites (67.56). Across all age groups, LinkedIn is a likelier go-to source for financial blogs than Facebook.

Where do financial advisors fit in? A majority of affluent investors work with a financial advisor in some capacity, whether it is to consult on a specific need such as saving for college and retirement planning or to make all their investment decisions.

Almost three-fourths of Affluent households (72 percent) state that increased knowledge is the primary benefit of working with a financial advisor. This ranks higher than such perceived benefits as being provided with a wider range of investment opportunities (64 percent) and improving investment returns (62 percent).

As investors age, they place more importance on the advice of a financial advisor and less value on financial information obtained through their own research. Investors age 60 and older rank professional financial advice as the most important factor in their financial decisions (42 percent) and their own research as second (37 percent).