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New Consumer Findings by CUNA Mutual Group and Filene Research Institute Address Investment Needs and Decision Dynamics
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 6:30 AM

More Than 69 Percent of New Middle Income Investors Will Seek Financial Advice at Some Point

New consumer investment research released by CUNA Mutual Group and Filene Research Institute indicate a majority of hardworking consumers will seek financial guidance at critical times of their lives. More than 550 financial advisors and credit union program leaders attending CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) FOCUS conference learned about decision dynamics that affect when and how consumers engage with a financial advisor.

Topline results in Filene’s new research report and presentation, “Financial Preferences and Attributes of Middle-Income Investors,” show 69 percent of consumers want to engage in investment conversations when the timing is right, and 45 percent look for advice when their life circumstances change. However, more than 42 percent say they only talk to an advisor once a year or less, with approximately 19 percent never engaging with an advisor.

“In a changing and uncertain economic environment, we see our work in the broader context of a person’s life,” said Jeff Bosco, senior vice president wealth management, CUNA Mutual Group. “Our solutions must address customers’ needs today and support their vision for stronger financial security, helping them be more confident about their future.

“This new research provides valuable insight for our advisors to understand what behavioral dynamics influence investment decisions for these consumers and how we can support their needs in setting and reaching their financial goals when they are ready,” added Bosco.

Commissioned by CUNA Mutual Group, Filene’s research looked at consumers with household income ranging from $30,000–$100,000 annually, with one in four consumers falling between the ages of 18-29. As credit unions look to attract new segments, this research provides insight into how investment services could attract new Gen Y members, a generation numbering more than 80 million people across the U.S.

As the study indicates, while many of these investors look for digital investment services for basic needs or services, they prefer engaging a financial advisor for comfort and reassurance with investment decisions. 

“We help people invest and plan for their future, regardless of their financial standing. We focus on creating products and services that are simple, easy to understand and help hardworking Americans secure stronger financial futures,” said Bosco.

For more information, view the report's executive summary

About Filene Research Institute
Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded over 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible. For more information, visit www.filene.org.

About CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.
CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI) provides broker-dealer services to credit unions throughout the nation, offering a full range of investment and insurance products to help credit unions help their members reach a more secure financial position. CBSI, an affiliate of CUNA Mutual Group, is a leading broker-dealer serving the credit union marketplace. CBSI has more than 260 credit union programs, 450 advisors, with more than $16 billion in assets under management.

About CUNA Mutual Group
CUNA Mutual Group helps people plan, protect and invest for their future – regardless of their financial standing. The company was founded more than 80 years ago by credit union leaders who were looking for an insurance and investment partner they could trust. Today, CUNA Mutual Group helps credit unions and hardworking Americans build financial security through commercial and personal insurance products; lending and payment security solutions; and risk management, retirement, investment and marketing services. Additional information about the company can be found at www.cunamutual.com