Market Strategies International


Cogent Reports: Not All Trust in the Financial Industry Is Lost

Despite turmoil in the financial services industry, trust remains high among ready-to-act affluent investors, demonstrating real opportunity for firms to attract new customers. While only 16% of affluent investors anticipate opening an investment account in the near future, these ready-to-act investors report significantly higher levels of trust in the industry compared with affluent investors staying the course. These and other findings are from Investor Brand Builder™, an annual Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International.

“Locating affluent investors who are ready to act is akin to finding a needle in a haystack,” noted Julia Johnston-Ketterer, senior director at Market Strategies and author of the report. “While targeting affluent investors with purchase intent is challenging—as they are relatively few and far between—the higher level of trust they have in the industry will benefit distributor firms. Winning over potential customers will prove easier among this significantly more trusting segment.”

But once a target prospect is identified, the work doesn’t stop there. Importantly, those with purchase intent are more likely to consider themselves knowledgeable about investing and have a good grasp on the investment fees they pay. “Ready-to-act affluent investors are savvier about managing their money,” explained Linda York, senior vice president at Market Strategies and head of the firm’s syndicated wealth management division. “Their needs go beyond the basics of investing and require a greater level of sophistication. Meeting these investors at the level they expect and appreciate can go a long way in helping investment firms earn their consideration and, ultimately, their business.”

Investor Brand Builder™ highlights the top firms that are most likely to be considered by affluent investors opening an investment account—the firms that achieve a high level of trust among ready-to-act affluent investors and are known for providing top-notch service along with industry-leading guidance and analytics tools.

“With its consistency of message and low-cost focus, Vanguard earns the distinction of the most trusted brand among ready-to-act affluent investors,” continued Johnston-Ketterer. “Even with the record inflows the firm received over the past year, Vanguard continues to deliver on its promises, strengthening the brand’s perception in the marketplace and positioning the firm well for future growth.”

Most Trusted Investment Firms by Ready-to-act Affluent Investors
  1. Vanguard
  2. Fidelity Investments
  3. USAA
  4. John Hancock
  5. Edward Jones

Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Investor Brand Builder™. November 2017.

About Investor Brand Builder™

Cogent Reports conducted an online survey with 4,408 affluent investors who were recruited from the Research Now and SSI online panels from June to August of 2017. In order to qualify, respondents were required to have at least $100,000 in investable assets and have sole or shared household financial decision-making responsibilities. Due to their opt-in nature, the online panels (like most others) do not yield a random probability sample of the target population. Thus, target quotas and weighting are set around key demographic variables using the most recent data available from the US Census Bureau. As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

For more information on Investor Brand Builder, review an overview.
If you would like to speak to someone directly, contact:

Sarah Keller
Syndicated Marketing Manager


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