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Over-50 Financial Advice: What Investors Are Looking For

It is no secret that people are not seeking professional financial advice as much as companies like Western International Securities and their advisors would like. It is also no secret that low-volume investors tend to be people already in middle age or older. The over-50 crowd makes up the lion’s share of the client base for many financial advisors.

It would be an interesting and profitable exercise for any financial advisor to ask over-50 first-time clients why they have waited so long to seek out financial advice. For example, a lot of them suddenly find themselves flush with assets upon the death of a parent.

Another common reason is that a fast approaching retirement. Individuals in their early 50s suddenly realize that retirement is staring them in the face despite the fact that they have done very little over the decades to prepare for it. They suddenly realize they need help getting things in order.

As a financial advisor, you need to understand what over-50 investors are looking for in an advisor. The better you understand and respond, the better equipped you will be to meet the needs of your older clients. According to Western International Securities, there are four things over-50 investors want and are looking for:

1. Honest Answers

Admittedly, putting together a solid strategy for first-time investor over 50 is considerably more difficult than doing so for somebody in his or her 20s. You are dealing with less time and potentially more money. Still, a more challenging investment scenario is no reason for not being honest and forthright.

Too many over-50 investors jump from advisor to advisor because they believe they are not getting honest answers. Under no circumstances should financial advisors mislead. If they cannot answer a question due to ignorance, it is best to admit as much and then go find the answer.

2. Fee Transparency

Over-50 investors are especially sensitive to fees and charges. They have lived long enough to know that there is no such thing as ‘free’, yet they also know that it is easy to be taken advantage of. Therefore, they want transparency in all the fees and charges they will pay. An underlying philosophy for every adviser and broker-dealer should be that of unquestionable transparency.

3. Someone to Trust

When a person who is in his or her mid-50s is seeking out financial advice for the first time, the other side of the coin is that the person has been self-managing finances and assets up to that point. Seeking out advice is a clear indication that an investor no longer wants that responsibility. In light of that, the investor wants to work with someone who can be trusted to take care of things without constant oversight.

4. A History of Growth

Lastly, over-50 investors are looking for a history of growth. They want to know that the advisors and firms they are working with are actually capable of generating a return in excess of their cumulative fees and charges. If an investor believes the best he or she can do is break even, that is not healthy for the advisor-client relationship. The client is likely to jump ship and move on.

First-time investors over the age of 50 can be a great revenue stream for the financial advisor and the broker-dealer. Making the most of this customer base is all about understanding what over-50 investors want and then providing it. It is like any other business. If you can meet and exceed the needs of your target audience, you will do very well.

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