The baby boom generation shows a preference for Wells Fargo. Why does the bank rate so high with boomers?
The baby boom generation – 77 million large with a powerful impact on social and economic trends - shows a preference for services provided by Wells-Fargo Wachovia, according a Millionaire Corner study of Mass Affluent investors.
Boomers rank Wells-Fargo Wachovia most highly for primary advisor services, and rank the San Francisco-based company second for banking and financial services. Fidelity comes in tops and Edward Jones, third, for financial services, while Bank of America-Merrill Lynch is the most preferred bank. JP Morgan-Chase ranks third in the banking category.
Mass Affluent investors have a net worth of $100,000 to $1 million, excluding their home. With an average age of 58, the group falls squarely within the baby boom generation that spans Americans born from 1946 to 1964. The large demographic has been courted by marketing efforts since birth. As the oldest boomers move into their early and mid 60s, the financial services industry is tailoring its products to meet the retirement needs of the baby boom generation.
Through its merger with Wachovia, Wells Fargo has expanded its Elder Services program to help high-asset clients manage their wealth and address quality-of-life issues such as healthcare. The program got its start in 1997 when Wells Fargo began researching how to best meet the needs of the aging baby boomer generation. Elder Services now serves 67 cities nationwide. Demand for the service is expected to triple over the next two decades.
Wells Fargo, which manages $1.3 trillion in assets, has also launched Beyond Today, a retirement site targeted to women. A survey released by Wells Fargo in February shows that women feel less confident about their outlook for retirement, and have saved less than men. The site features women financial columnists and addresses common retirement concerns of women. Most recently, Wells Fargo was rated as the nation's "best internet bank" by Global Finance magazine.
Most Mass Affluent investors (70 percent) use a financial advisor to some extent and are most likely to work with a full-service broker, but less than half of them have a financial plan. Two-thirds of the Mass Affluent express satisfaction with their financial advisor, and 35 percent have been with their advisor for more than 10 years. More than three-fourths prefer monthly or semi-annual contact with their advisor.
The group also lists Bank of America-Merrill Lunch, Charles Schwab and Vanguard its top six financial services provider. PNC, U.S. Bank and Citibank rank among the top six preferred banks, while Bank of America, Fidelity and Ameriprise count among the top six firms for advisory services.