Our research shows that for many people, planning their financial future and keeping track of their investments is complex and time-consuming. Mass affluent investors hold a mixture of pensions, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and property, and crave simplicity in managing these. In fact, 66% of our respondents said they value a simple and straightforward approach.
In order for affluent investors to achieve this simplicity, they feel that the organisation of their finances is the critical first step. All of those that we interviewed said that before they could focus on achieving specific investment goals they felt they needed to organise their finances, oftentimes to get a clear picture of their current holdings. At this point, many consider the consolidation of their assets with one provider.
Of those surveyed, 40% said that the opportunity to consolidate their investments with one provider was attractive. When we asked our interviewees their primary motivation for wanting to consolidate, they all said that consolidation was a way of bringing order and clarity to their financial life. However, they understood that consolidation could pose a risk to their portfolio as many were also reluctant to put all of their investments in one place.
What we might understand from this is that mass affluent investors are struggling to find a simple way to understand and manage their investments; that they lack a clear and holistic view, and that the options for getting this view are limited at present.
Simplification, then, might on the surface appear to mean consolidation for customers, but it is more likely that consolidation is one option of only a limited few. The real unmet need of the customer, the desire for simplicity, actually pertains to the visibility and control that investors have. As our full report shows, many mass affluent investors self-manage a significant part of their portfolio with 47% managing over half of their portfolio themselves. And it is those who self-manage a large portion of their portfolio who especially desire simplicity, with 79% of these rating this as important to them.
One opportunity for financial services providers to best meet the needs of their customers lies in their ability to offer platforms that give customers a consolidated view of their assets; increasing control and visibility and bringing simplicity to a complex financial life.
Download and read our full report now for all of our insights and recommendations, gleaned directly from research with affluent customers. The report is structured in accordance with moments in the financial planning process as experienced by the customer.
If you have any questions about our research, or would like more information about our services, please contact Peter Neufeld.
EY Advisory Partner &
Head of FS Digital Customer Experience EMEIA
Peter works with Financial Services clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa to help them embed new capabilities
into their organisation,
build innovative new products and services, and transform their business through customer centricity, rich insight and service design.