News

When It Comes to Retirement Income Advice, You Get What You Pay For

New Study Finds Full-Service Advice Experiences Offer More Details, More Likely to Answer Consumer Key Questions

(Rye, NY) – Full-service retirement income advice and guidance experiences were found to be superior to more than two dozen financial services in the fifth annual side-by-side review conducted by Hearts & Wallets, the preeminent financial research resource for understanding consumer savings and investing needs and behaviors.

The comprehensive analysis compares advice and guidance from leading online calculators, retirement plans, and rep-assisted experiences for the same hypothetical consumer scenario to provide a measurable, objective benchmark of the diverse retirement advice offerings in the marketplace. The assessment focused on four key categories – customer experience, quality of recommendations, format, and process and resources – as well as many underlying criteria. Read More→

Retirement Income Marketers Sharpen Focus on Outcome-Oriented Solutions

Industry Increasingly Views Investment Products as Means to Capture Retirement Income Market; Survey Perspective Stretches from 2005

(Rye, NY) – Hearts & Wallets 2014 Retirement Income Competitive Landscape Survey finds investment products once again surging in popularity among financial services marketers in pursuit of U.S. retirement income asset market share – at the highest levels ever seen since the study began in 2005, and the highest of any revenue-generating or support offering in 2014 – according to the industry report from Hearts & Wallets, the preeminent financial research resource for understanding consumer savings and investing needs and behaviors.

Two in five (38%) of respondents rate investment products as their firm’s most important retirement income priority, while another 46% rate it very important. The re-emergence of investment products, after bottoming out in 2010 following the stock market collapse, is just one finding from the latest Hearts & Wallets’ analysis of the retirement income competitive landscape: Inside Retirement Advice 2014: At Retirement Focus How Benchmarking Today’s At-Retirement Advice & Guidance Points the Way to Future Improvements. Read More→

New Hearts & Wallets Study Reveals How Asset Managers Could Significantly Improve Target-Date Offerings

Investor-Oriented Product Innovations Provide Asset Managers Potential to Reclaim Some Control from Distributors

(Hingham, MA) – Asset managers could improve their competitive market position by developing innovative investor-oriented products to address consumer dissatisfaction with current Target-Date offerings – specifically the retirement transition – according to a new study by Hearts & Wallets, LLC, the preeminent financial research resource for understanding consumer savings and investing needs and behaviors.

The study points to how investment manufacturers can potentially reclaim some power lost to distributors over the last decade because of consumer disconnects and product development strategic focus shifts. In the last 15 years, stores (outlets such as broker-dealers or retirement plans where consumers access investments) have gained more influence over investor wallets than products (investment manufacturer offerings). In prior decades, differentiated products through both self- and full-service channels offered true consumer appeal. The current environment suggests products, and manufacturers, could reclaim some of that appeal in the next generation of all-in-one solutions. Read More→