Hearts & Wallets In the Press

Jill Cornfield, Oct 18, 2018

Scary financial tasks make most people run the other way

Scary finances? Run away. That's the consensus of Americans surveyed in a report from Hearts & Wallets, which studies U.S. retail investors. The study uses data about consumer attitudes, behaviors and buying patterns of more than 5,400 U.S. households....
Susan Rupe, Oct 18, 2018

Consumers ‘More Confused Than Ever’ By Financial Planning

The vast majority of consumers who find a financial task difficult don’t seek help. This opens up a gap for financial advice, according to a report from Hearts & Wallets. The report,“Pain Points & Actions: Insights to Address Large Advice Gaps by Reaching Consumers with Unmet Needs,” reveals the most pressing pain points different groups of consumers face….
Jill Cornfield, Oct 18, 2018

Scary financial tasks make most people run the other way

Scary finances? Run away. That's the consensus of Americans surveyed in a report from Hearts & Wallets, which studies U.S. retail investors. The study uses data about consumer attitudes, behaviors and buying patterns of more than 5,400 U.S. households….
Noah Zuss, Oct 16, 2018

Hearts & Wallets: Narrow TDF vintages restricting sales

Asset managers need to provide guidance on target-date fund age ranges because some investors may be turned off by having to choose a specific retirement date, new Hearts & Wallets research finds. The study shows that 60% of those surveyed aren’t invested in a target-date fund because they're not currently....
Emily Zulz, Oct 16, 2018

Investors Don’t Seek Help With Difficult Financial Tasks: Study

The vast majority of consumers who find a financial task difficult don’t seek help, as seen in a new report from Hearts & Wallets. According to the report, that creates large advice gaps for tasks like planning for retirement, choosing investments and managing the finances of loved ones as they age....
Oct 16, 2018

Bridging the Big Advice Gaps

The vast majority of consumers who find a financial task difficult don’t seek help, creating large advice gaps, as seen in a new report from Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights….
Marlene Satter, Sep 18, 2018

Fidelity, Vanguard have greatest name recognition among consumers

“Helping consumers become more aware of product ownership can give them more control of their financial future, and really, increase their overall financial literacy,” says Laura Varas, CEO and founder of Hearts & Wallet.
Emily Zulz, Sep 18, 2018

1 in 5 Investors Can’t Name the Funds They Own: Report

One in five consumers can’t name the investment products they own or the firms behind them, according to new Hearts & Wallets research. A new report by Hearts & Wallets — Investment Products & Asset Managers: Building Product Relevancy Through Consumer Insights — analyzes consumer awareness and ownership of investment products along with awareness of asset allocation and asset managers….
Sep 18, 2018

Investments? One in Five Can’t Name Products Owned or Firms Behind Them

As consumers struggle with basic awareness about investment product ownership, Fidelity and Vanguard stand out for consumers who know the products they own and the firms who make them in a new report from Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Emile Hallez, Aug 22, 2018

B of A Merrill, Fidelity Lead the Pack With 401(k) Rollovers: Survey

Two firms appear to be dominating rollovers — Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Fidelity — each with a share of transactions from a 2017 sample more than double that of the closest competitors. That is according to a report that became available this week from Hearts & Wallets, which added new survey data to its working database that tracks investor behaviors. The ongoing survey includes about 5,500 participants....
Aug 21, 2018

New Wealth, New Relationships Fuel Today's Money-Movement

(August 21, 2018, Rye, NY) – New money and new relationships are at the heart of money movement growth as younger and mass market households up their participation, according to a new report from Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Jeff Stimson, Jul 30, 2018

Too Much Focus On Liquidity Can Cost Wealthy Clients Big In Taxes

Uncertainty about an imminent stock market plunge can make for jittery investors—and a desire for assets that can be tapped more easily…. More consumers are starting to recognize “the tension between tax deferral and [money] accessibility, and they are balancing liquidity choices on a spectrum of checking/savings, taxable brokerage and goal-specific savings accounts,” according to a recent Hearts & Wallets study.
Carmen Germaine, Jul 25, 2018

What’s in a Name? Investors Say Not Much

Investors largely don’t know who manages their funds, and view product providers as interchangeable, new research suggests. Many consumers couldn’t name a single asset manager when interviewed by Hearts & Wallets. And those who could consider them as essentially indistinguishable....
Noah Zuss, Jul 20, 2018

Fidelity and Vanguard top the charts for investor awareness

Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group lead the way in new consumer brand awareness research, although a number of big fund groups appear to have a way to go in improving their brand presence among investors. A Hearts & Wallets study, published this week, reveals fund firms' “shareholder awareness score,” calculated as....
Karen DeMasters, Jul 19, 2018

Adieu, Taboo: Friends Are Talking To Friends About Money

It may no longer be a no-no to talk about money, according to Hearts & Wallets, an investor data source. Three out of four consumers ages 28 to 39 who were part of focus groups arranged by Hearts & Wallets said they talk finance with friends, which is an increase of 17 percentage points over the past five years. Half of consumers ages 40 to 52 said they talk finance with friends, an increase of 7 percentage points during the same time period....
Jul 19, 2018

How Friends Influence Investing

(July 19, 2018, Rye, NY) – Actionable insights into how Americans talk finance with friends can shape strategy to engage with today’s investors, as outlined in a new report from Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. Accumulators 2018 Talking Finance with Friends: Disruptive Trends in Savings, Digital Advice and Asset Management examines how reliance on friends influences investment decisions....
Ted Godbout, Jun 28, 2018

Pre-Retirees More Concerned About Falling Short in Retirement

Pre-retirees worry more than retirees about not having enough income in retirement, changes in Social Security benefits and low interest rates, while retirees worry more about health care and staying active, new research shows…. A new report by Hearts & Wallets identifies often overlooked income streams for groups of future retirees and finds that retirees may be much more dependent on certain income in retirement than national averages indicate.
Rich Eisenberg, Jun 26, 2018

Looking for steady retirement income? There’s hope for a simpler, cheaper way

Many workers in their 50s and 60s worry about whether they’ll have enough savings for a comfortable retirement, of course, but they also have another big financial fear: How can they essentially re-create their paycheck so they can count on steady, reliable retirement income? A new initiative from a consortium of financial services companies — with the slogan Retire Your Risk — hopes to help address that concern…. A new retirement income study by Hearts & Wallets, a financial services research firm, noted that just 13% of retiree households are getting income from annuities, down from 15% in 2016.
Jill Gregorie, Jun 26, 2018

'Quiet' Retirement Income Sources Screaming for Attention

When it comes to retirement income, Americans tend to put all of their nest eggs in one basket.... Commonly cited national statistics about Americans’ reliance on Social Security and workplace savings mute the importance of taxable brokerage accounts, dividend income, real estate and other “quiet” sources of income for millions of people, according to Hearts & Wallets, a Rye, N.Y., research and consulting firm focused on retail investor decision making.
Jessa Claeys, Jun 22, 2018

Major Discrepancy Between Retirement Income Expectations Versus Reality

Not surprisingly, Americans have unrealistic expectations about how they will fund their retirement years, according to new research. But how unrealistic is shocking—future retirees are under the impression that withdrawals from their 401ks and other retirement accounts will be four times as large a source of income as they are likely to be. Hearts & Wallets’ Retirement & Funding: Building Informed Expectations About Sources of Income in Retirement details anticipated income generation and actual income replacement rates from a variety of sources….
Rich Eisenberg, Jun 19, 2018

Could This Reduce Our Retirement Income Anxiety?

...A new retirement income study by Hearts & Wallets, a financial services research firm, noted that just 13% of retiree households are getting income from annuities, down from 15% in 2016….
Lee Barney, Jun 19, 2018

Brokerage Accounts, Dividends Critical Sources of Retirement Income

A new Hearts & Wallets report, “Retirement & Funding: Building Informed Expectations About Sources of Income in Retirement,” found that for retirees with dividends, this represents 19% of their income. For retirees with $2 million or more in investable assets, this jumps to 34%. Future retirees expect dividends will generate 16% of their retirement income, and for the wealthiest future retirees, they say it will generate 27% of their income....
Jun 19, 2018

Surprises in Retirement Income: Overlooked and Coveted Nest Eggs

Surprises in retirement income sources range from oversized roles for dividends and taxable brokerage to extremely high expectations for retirement accounts in new findings from Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Karen DeMasters, Jun 19, 2018

Income Needs Will Force People To Work Into Retirement, Study Says

More people are going to be working into their retirement years, according to a study released Tuesday by Hearts & Wallets, a source of investor data. Income from working makes up 8 percent of all retirement income, according to the data set used by Hearts & Wallets that included 40,000 people. Within a few years, 10 percent of all retirement income will be generated from retirees working, according to the answers from those respondents who are not yet retired….
Rich Eisenberg, Jun 19, 2018

Could This Reduce Our Retirement Income Anxiety?

Many workers in their 50s and 60s worry about whether they’ll have enough savings for a comfortable retirement, of course, but they also have another big financial fear: How can they essentially recreate their paycheck so they can count on steady, reliable retirement income?...A new retirement income study by Hearts & Wallets, a financial services research firm, noted that just 13 percent of retiree households are getting income from annuities, down from 15 percent in 2016….
Emile Hallez, May 21, 2018

Workers Divert 401(k) Savings to Brokerages, Banks: Report

People have increased their savings rates over the past five years, but they are becoming less enthusiastic about using retirement accounts and annuities. That is among findings of a recent report by Hearts & Wallets, which includes data from an ongoing survey of 5,500 people. While the average amount of total household assets allocated to annuities, IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, college savings plans and bank accounts fell between 2012 and 2017, allocations to taxable brokerage accounts increased slightly....
May 17, 2018

Consumer Thirst for Liquidity Drives Account Growth and Creative Approaches to Real Estate

Retail investor thirst for liquidity is driving increases of certain account types as consumers weigh tradeoffs between tax-deferred investments versus readily accessible funds in a new report by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Emily Zulz, May 16, 2018

Consumers, Craving Liquidity, Save Less in Retirement Plans: Study

Investors are upping taxable accounts — and devoting less money to employer-sponsored retirement plans, according to new Hearts & Wallets research. A new report by Hearts & Wallets finds that retail investor have a thirst for liquidity that is driving increases of certain account types as consumers weigh tradeoffs between tax-deferred investments and readily accessible funds....
JOHN SULLIVAN, May 16, 2018

‘Thirst For Liquidity’ Hurting 401k Savings Rates

Deferred gratification or immediate satisfaction? Americans appear to choose the latter. Not exactly news to anyone following the saving rates of the nation’s consumers. Yet a new report from Hearts &Wallets finds a “thirst for liquidity is driving increases of certain account types as consumers weigh tradeoffs between tax-deferred investments versus readily accessible funds.”...
Margarida Correia, May 16, 2018

Retirement Scan

More savers are rejecting retirement accounts in favor of these investments -- Data from retail investors firm Hearts & Wallets show that the number of clients owning taxable brokerage accounts has increased 10 percentage points over the past five years, according to this article on MarketWatch. The number of clients with checking, saving and CD accounts also rose nine percentage points. However, ownership of employer-sponsored plans remained unchanged, with contributions dropping by five percentage points.
Karen DeMasters, May 16, 2018

Americans Looking For Liquidity, Says Study

Americans seem to want more liquidity and less money tied up in unreachable funds, said Hearts & Wallets in the study, "Income & Net Worth: Thirst for Liquidity and Other Actionable Surprises in Human Capital and Household Finance" released Wednesday. The report was derived from an analysis of data from 40,000 households....
Alessandra Malito, May 15, 2018

An increasing number of savers are rejecting retirement accounts in favor of these investments

More people are stashing their money in taxable accounts and less so in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Ownership of taxable brokerage accounts jumped 10 percentage points over the last five years, and checking, saving and CD accounts increased 9 percentage points, according to retail investor data firm Hearts & Wallets. Meanwhile, ownership rates remained the same for employer-sponsored plans like a 401(k), but consumers were contributing less — a total decline of 5 percentage points….
By Rodney Brooks, Apr 27, 2018

How to Keep Your Grown Children From Endangering Your Retirement

Your retirement finances can be a lot more fragile than you might think. A budget can be disrupted by many things, and some parents have a hard time dealing with one expense in particular: They can't say no to their grown children…. Baby boomers with financially independent adult children who don't support anyone else are twice as likely to be retired, according a survey of 5,500 U.S. households by the market research firm Hearts & Wallets. Only 21 percent of boomers who support adult children are fully retired, compared to 50 percent of boomers who don't support children or other extended family members….
Apr 24, 2018

Ameriprise Financial Earns Top Marks for Customer Service

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP) excels in customer service dimensions investors value most, according to data from research firm Hearts & Wallets’ 2018 Wants & Pricing report. The firm garnered “top performer” status in several areas that investors prioritize when working with a financial provider, including “explains things in understandable terms” and “understands me and shares my values”. Ameriprise also received top marks in “has defined, repeatable process for producing results”, and “knowledgeable, timely and tactical investment ideas”….
Apr 23, 2018

Ameriprise Financial Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 23, 2018--Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP) today reported first quarter 2018 net income of $594 million…. Ameriprise earned the Hearts & Wallets Top Performer™ designation for: understands me and shares my values; explains things in understandable terms; has defined, repeatable processes for producing results; and investment ideas that are knowledgeable, timely and tactical....
Richard Bedard, Bradley Saacks, Apr 11, 2018

TIAA, Prudential Rank as Top Trusted in Workplace Plans, Report Says

TIAA and Prudential are two of the most trusted names in workplace plans, according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets, an industry consulting firm....
Bradley Saacks, Apr 10, 2018

Ed Jones, USAA Again Earn Top Scores in Trust: Report

Trust in financial service is rebounding and the industry brands investors most trust are Edward Jones and USAA, according to a new study from industry consultancy Hearts & Wallets. The survey, which included responses from 5,000 investors across the country, found that two out of three customers that invest through Edward Jones or USAA “rate their trust high (9-10 on a 10-point scale).” That is up from 43% according to the results released last year and from 39% in 2013, as reported...
Noah Zuss, Apr 10, 2018

Hearts & Wallets: Investor trust on the rise

Consumer faith in fund distributors is improving, with USAA, Edward Jones, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab earning top ratings, according to a Hearts & Wallets report released April 9. The report, titled Stores & Success Metrics: Winning the “Hearts & Wallets” of Customers, shows that 80% had moderate to high trust...
Emily Zulz, Apr 10, 2018

Clients Rate Top Financial Services Firms in 6 Categories

Which financial firms do customers trust most? Which ones are they most likely to recommend? And with which firms do customers plan to invest more money? Research firm Hearts & Wallets answers those questions in a new report on success metrics across the financial services industry….
Jessa Claeys, Apr 9, 2018

Most Trusted 401k Financial Firms

USAA and Edward Jones are among the financial services firms that fare particularly well, according to a new report of consumer attitudes. What’s more, eight in 10 consumers either “moderately or highly” trust the investment, banking and retirement plan firms with which they do business, Hearts & Wallets finds….
Apr 9, 2018

How Do Consumers Rate Their Financial Services Companies?

(April 9, 2018, Rye, NY) – USAA and Edward Jones received high marks on trust from their customers, earning a Top Performer™ designation’, in a new report on success metrics across the financial services industry by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. The Stores & Success Metrics: Winning the “Hearts & Wallets” analyzed customer success metrics nationally for the top 26 investment, banking and retirement plan participant firms, or “stores,” for over 8,000 sets of customer ratings of different firms from over 5,000 investors….
Apr 6, 2018

Ameriprise Nabs $185M Advisor Team from Edward Jones

A team of Edward Jones financial advisors has jumped ship to Ameriprise Financial, InvestmentNews writes....Edward Jones and Ameriprise continue getting ranked as the top financial firms by U.S. households, according to the latest Hearts & Wallets survey....
Apr 3, 2018

The Financial Dreams and Worries of Americans

Building bigger emergency funds continues to grow in importance as the top goal of Americans, while health care has overtaken Social Security as the top consumer concern, with more Americans reporting health issues and thinking about how to save for health care. This is according to two research reports by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Jessa Claeys, Mar 16, 2018

Report: U.S. Households Gaining In Investable Assets: The American Dream is alive and well

Whether it’s still the Trump Bump, regulation rollback or increasing consumer sentiment overall, the good economic news keeps coming. The latest finds an increasing number of Americans are ‘moving on up‘ financially, according to a new market sizing report by Hearts & Wallets....
Mar 16, 2018

Drawing A Blueprint For Wealth

(Mar. 15, 2018, Rye, NY) – American families with the least and most investable assets made the greatest strides in the past four years in the annual market sizing report by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. The number of American households in the lowest asset group of under $50,000 in investable assets declined by 2.1 million, the only asset group to decrease in number of households during that timeframe, even as the total number of households nationally increased by 3.5 million. As for the wealthiest Americans, the number of $5 million-plus households increased by 50%, or 0.5 million, going from 0.9 million to 1.4 million during that same time period….
Karen DeMasters, Mar 15, 2018

U.S. Household Assets On Rise, Report Says

American households are continuing to improve financially, according to Hearts & Wallets, a data source on finances and investing. Fewer U.S. households are in the lowest asset group of under $50,000 in investable assets, according to a report released Thursday by the organization. This group declined by 2.1 million since 2013, dropping from 77.2 million to 75.1 million, even as the total number of U.S. households increased by 3.5 million to 126 million...
Rebecca Moore, Mar 15, 2018

Savings Is Decreasing Number of Americans in Lowest Asset Group

A report from Hearts & Wallets also reveals the market for existing income management tools for new retirees is 3.5 million households. A new market sizing report examines Americans at risk for disruption in the financial marketplace and reveals that families with the least and most assets made the biggest strides in household wealth in the past four years, according to Hearts & Wallets...
Rebecca Moore, Mar 15, 2018

Report Reveals Savings Strategies and Products Needed

A new market sizing report examines Americans at risk for disruption in the financial marketplace and reveals that families with the least and most assets made the biggest strides in household wealth in the past four years, according to Hearts & Wallets. The Hearts & Wallets report, “Portrait U.S. Household Wealth: Essential Building Blocks to Empower Fact-Based Strategy & Prioritization,” suggests there are fewer American households in the lowest asset group of less than $50,000 in investable assets....
Beagan Wilcox Volz, Feb 28, 2018

Ameriprise, Ed Jones, USAA Get High Marks for Straight Talk With Investors

Plain talk is increasingly important to a growing number of retail investors when they are assessing financial services providers, according to a recent survey. Of the more than 5,200 households that Hearts & Wallets surveyed last year, 56% said this attribute was very important in selecting a firm - up from just over half of households (52%) in 2016....
April Rudin, Feb 27, 2018

Overstock robo-adviser focuses on group others too often neglect

It's 2 a.m. and, half-awake, I'm shopping on Overstock.com. ..."Wow, look at that lamp on clearance. It's so reasonably priced; I have to buy it." Also added to cart. As I scroll to the bottom of the homepage, the words "FinanceHub" catch my eye.... First, let's talk about female investors. Financial advisers tend to ignore the investment needs of women - for example, they often only address the husband in a husband-wife pair....The State of Advice and Guidance 2017, a study conducted by the data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets, found that only about half of financial advisers give retirement age recommendations to the non-breadwinning spouse….
Ted Godbout, Feb 20, 2018

What Do Consumers Want Most From Financial Services Firms?

"Understandability" and fee clarity tied for what consumers want most from their financial services firms, according to Hearts & Wallets' eighth annual customer satisfaction ratings. Based on more than 5,000 U.S. household ratings of top performers on everything from providing personal financial advice to offering online tools and research, "understandability" and clear and understandable fees were both cited by 56% of consumers nationally who said these factors are important to them for service dimension attributes....
Alex Padalka, Feb 15, 2018

Ameriprise, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo Advisors Ranked Top Personal FA Firms

U.S. households continue to rank Edward Jones and Ameriprise as the top financial firms across several categories for 2017, according to a Hearts & Wallets survey cited by ThinkAdvisor. But traditional advice firms may want to take a cue from banks and online brokerages when it comes to making their fees clear and understandable. Meanwhile, despite trouble at its parent company's retail banking unit, Wells Fargo Advisors was ranked along Ameriprise and Edward Jones as one of the top firms that offer personal financial advice, according to the survey of 5,000 American households asked to name their top two financial providers out of 23 top financial institutions, the publication writes....
Ryan W. Neal, Feb 13, 2018

USAA, Edward Jones, Ameriprise ranked most understandable by clients

Investors don't just want low prices, they want financial services they can understand. A new study by Hearts & Wallets, which asked more than 5,000 households to rate their top two financial providers on service and pricing, found a firm that "explains things in understandable terms" and has "clear and understandable fees" is more important than having low fees. And it's equally as important as charging "reasonable fees," the study said...
Emily Zulz, Feb 13, 2018

Clients Rate Top Financial Services Firms in 13 Categories

Customers want understandability and clear fees from their financial services providers, and they rate them accordingly Customers of top financial services performers reveal who they love in Hearts & Wallets’ annual national customer satisfaction rating report. More than 5,000 U.S. households rate their top two financial providers on service and pricing performance in the report, "Wants & Pricing: Helping Customers Purchase What They Want in Saving and Investing."
Karen DeMasters, Feb 13, 2018

Edward Jones Tops In Customer Satisfaction, Again

For the second year in a row, Edward Jones came out on top of other large financial services firms for customer satisfaction in a survey by the Hearts & Wallets research firm. According to the survey of 5,000 people, Edward Jones beat out other large firms on how it explains investing details to customers and knowing the customer, Hearts & Wallets said in its 8th annual customer satisfaction survey, "Wants & Pricing: Helping Customers Purchase What They Want in Saving and Investing."...
Feb 13, 2018

Who Do You Love? Customers of Financial Services Firms Reveal Top Performers That Win their Hearts

(Feb. 13, 2018, Rye, NY) - Customers of top financial services performers reveal who they love in the eighth annual Hearts & Wallets national customer satisfaction rating in a new report by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. Over 5,000 U.S. households rate their top two financial providers on service and pricing performance in the Wants & Pricing: Helping Customers Purchase What They Want in Saving and Investing report. The ratings cover 25 attributes for five key service dimensions and three pricing dimensions. The report focuses on top-level national annual satisfaction ratings for the top 23 providers, leading brokers, banks and retirement platforms cited most often by their customers….
Ted Godbout, Jan 16, 2018

Consumers’ Level of Investment Experience May Not Be What You Think

Whether consumers feel experienced is somewhat correlated to their level of investible assets, but not as strongly as one might assume, according to new research. In “Experience Divide: How Beliefs and Truths About Investing Experience Affect Loyalty and Attitudes to Active-Passive, HSAs, and Descriptions of Advice,” Hearts & Wallets found that 28% of households with between $500,000 and $2 million in assets consider themselves inexperienced investors....
Kenny He, Jan 11, 2018

Should You Customize Your Products Based On Investor Experience?

To counteract the rise of passive indexing and safer alternatives such as EFTs, mutual fund managers need to understand that the problem often isn't the product, but the investors. According to The Experience Divide, a survey conducted by Hearts & Wallets, inexperienced investors fundamentally have a different mindset from experienced investors and tend to be risk-averse, so the best solution would be to understand how to approach both inexperienced and experienced investors....
Jan 11, 2018

Advising the Wary & Inexperienced

The degree of perceived investing experience – independent from investable assets – influences consumer attitudes to active management, advice-seeking behaviors and loyalty to firms versus advisors. As such, it offers opportunities for firms with higher value-added services, that understand the concerns of less experienced, wary consumers, in a new report by to Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. The “Experience Divide:” How Beliefs and Truths About Investing Experience Affect Loyalty and Attitudes to Active-Passive, HSAs, and Descriptions of Advice examines the variable of perceived investing experience, which is potentially a more important lens than traditional filters of wealth and attitudes toward advice....
Alessandra Malito, Dec 29, 2017

5 predictions for robo advisers and digital advice in 2018

Digital investing advice has evolved in the past several years from digital-only to a hybrid that includes advice from human beings — and assets on these platforms have grown substantially. In 2018, experts expect that trend to continue, but with a face-lift for the traditional and hybrid “robo advisers.”… Calculators are popular among digital advice platforms, because they allow consumers to assess where they stand financially or how much they can invest, but videos created by financial institutions that explain confusing terms and investment strategies will become more prevalent as the younger generation ages — 43% of people 21 to 39 years old are watching videos about finance, compared with 29% of midcareer adults 40 to 52 years old, said Laura Varas, founder of research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Sean Allocca, Dec 20, 2017

More Clients Take a Hybrid Approach to Investing

Robo advisory firms aren't the only ones increasingly adopting a hybrid approach. More than 40% of all investors now use some combination of human and digital advice, according to new research from the consulting firm Hearts & Wallets. “The term is going to be decreasingly useful,” says Laura Varas, chief executive of Hearts & Wallets....
Bridget Doyle, Dec 15, 2017

Why Investing Conversations Are Changing

Investors are growing less reliant on traditional advisory services, according to a new study put out this week by Hearts & Wallets. Focused on understanding the "hybrid investor" (those who use a mix of online advice and live professionals) the study looks at how investors, including plan participants, access informative financial resources....
Staff writer, Dec 14, 2017

Survey: 41% of Households Mix Digital, Human Financial Advice

Individual investors are slowly abandoning pure self-direction and are turning to financial professionals for advice, according to a new study by an investor data company. But this isn't a return to the way things used to be, said Hearts & Wallets, the Rye, N.Y.-based research firm that conducted the study of 40,000 individuals....
Noah Zuss, Dec 14, 2017

Investors Blend Data Sources

Retail investors are increasingly consulting many sources for financial advice, with 41% of US households using both live and digital information, according to research Hearts & Wallets released today. The findings’ Implications for asset managers and advisers include getting a hold of which sources are the most influential, Laura Varas, CEO and founder of Hearts and Wallets, said....
Dec 14, 2017

Consumers Seek Multiple Sources Of Financial Advice

Consumers are increasingly seeking multiple sources of live advice and technology and blending approaches to financial decision-making to achieve financial goals in a new report by to Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Rebecca Moore, Dec 12, 2017

Fewer People Rely on Employer as a Source of Investment Advice

“Employer” is the eighth most important source of investment advice and information in 2017, cited as a primary, usual or occasional source by 46% of households nationally, according to a report from Hearts & Wallets. Employer is the primary source for only 27% of households....
Noah Zuss, Dec 8, 2017

Hearts & Wallets: Retirement Income not Investors’ Top Priority

A holistic approach to retirement planning is critical since generating income in retirement is not the top priority for retirement savers, according to research from Hearts & Wallets....
Dec 6, 2017

The Biggest Unmet Need For Consumers In Goals-Based Wealth Management

A new report reveals the biggest unmet consumer need among nine components in a goals-based wealth management program and the growing role of the spouse in retirement planning, according to Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Dec 5, 2017

Managing The Income To Wealth Transition

A new report reveals the biggest unmet consumer need among nine components in a goals-based wealth management program and the growing role of the spouse in retirement planning, according to Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights. Retirement Income to Goals-Based Wealth Management provides a roadmap to transition from retirement income plans to goals-based wealth management using a consumer-oriented mindset....
John Manganaro, Dec 5, 2017

Spouses Play Increasingly Influential Role Alongside Advisers

A new report from Hearts & Wallets assesses the state of retirement income planning through the eyes of older affluent consumers. The report, “Retirement Income to Goals-Based Wealth Management,” focuses on U.S. retirement savers ages 53 years and older with more than $100,000 in investable assets....
Emile Hallez, Nov 14, 2017

Now or Later: Investors Weigh Rainy Day Savings v. 401(k)s

Americans are more concerned with saving for a rainy day than preparing for retirement, according to recent surveys. The results reflect a trend that emerged several years ago but has since become much more pronounced, two reports issued this week by Hearts & Wallets indicate....
Nov 9, 2017

Health Care Overtakes Social Security As Top Consumer Concern

Building bigger emergency funds continues to grow in importance as the top goal, while health care has overtaken Social Security as the top consumer concern, with more Americans reporting health issues and thinking about how to save for health care, in two new research reports by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Nov 8, 2017

Financial Dreams, Worries and Growing Appetite for Financial Guidance

Building bigger emergency funds continues to grow in importance as the top goal, while health care has overtaken Social Security as the top consumer concern, with more Americans reporting health issues and thinking about how to save for health care, in two new research reports by Hearts & Wallets, the source for retail investor data and insights....
Lee Barney, Nov 8, 2017

Consumers Not Receptive to Employer-Provided Retirement Planning Resources

Only about one third (35%) of U.S. consumers use or would use “retirement planning resources provided through employer” while 41% do not or would not, according to Hearts & Wallets research....
Nov 1, 2017

Mutual Funds’ Use is Plunging

Just 39% of U.S. households own mutual funds, down from 63% in 2010, according to Hearts & Wallets, a retail investment data and analysis firm. Younger investors especially have turned their back on the vehicles....
Karen DeMasters, Oct 30, 2017

Investors Bailing On Mutual Funds

The percentage of households invested in mutual funds has dropped drastically over the past seven years, says Hearts & Wallets, a source of retail investment data and analysis....
Bradley Saacks, Oct 30, 2017

Investors: Most Fund Managers 'Interchangeable and Irrelevant'

The last thing any asset manager wants to be is replaceable, but waning brand awareness among end investors is putting even the bigger fund brands at risk of just that, new research from Hearts & Wallets suggests. As asset managers increasingly focus their product development strategies around distributor wishes, end investors are losing track of who is investing their savings, according to the research and consulting firm....
Ted Godbout, Oct 30, 2017

Younger and Experienced Investors Receptive to Actively Managed Products

When viewing investors across life stages and assets, there is a common belief that actively managed investment strategies are too expensive....
Richard Eisenberg, Oct 25, 2017

These are the people financial advisers ignore

In a time when so many people in their 50s and 60s sorely need financial advisers, a new report finds that money pros are often ignoring many of their goals. The result: bad advice or no advice on key financial planning issues for boomers. And wives who aren’t breadwinners get especially short shrift....
Yun Li, Oct 24, 2017

Hearts & Wallets: Target younger investors when selling models

Asset managers may be going after the wrong market with model portfolios as younger investors prefer packaged products, whereas retirees like to assemble component investments, two new reports from Hearts & Wallets shows....
Oct 23, 2017

The Awakening: How Younger and Experienced Consumers Will Shape Investment Products

As mutual funds continue to decline, falling from 63% of U.S. households owning them in 2010 to 39% in 2017, asset allocation and passive investment remain market darlings....
Rich Eisenberg, Oct 10, 2017

Money Concerns And People That Financial Advisers Ignore

In a time when so many people in their 50s and 60s sorely need financial advisers, a new report finds that money pros are often ignoring many of their goals. The result: bad advice or no advice on key financial planning issues for boomers. And wives who aren’t breadwinners get especially short shrift. The report, State of Advice and Guidance 2017, was conducted by Hearts & Wallets, a data and consulting firm focused on the drivers behind retail investor decision making....
Penelope Wang, Elizabeth O'Brien, Kerri Anne Renzulli, Sep 29, 2017

The 7 Retirement Moves Couples in their 50s Should Make Now

Many people head toward retirement as part of a couple. But that doesn’t mean that spouses are working together as a team. Only one-third of couples have even discussed retirement planning, according to a study by consultants Hearts & Wallets. Asked how much money they think they will need for retirement, 47% of couples disagree, Fidelity recently found. And men and women often have different interests in later life, with far more men than women engaging in sports and outdoor activities, and far more women than men getting together with friends and family, according to TIAA research…
Beagan Wilcox Volz, Sep 28, 2017

Vanguard Puts 401(k) Savers' Retirement Income Front and Center

Vanguard has redesigned its participant website to make estimated retirement income more prominent in an attempt to prod greater savings at a time when many say the country faces a retirement crisis… Getting participants thinking about the purpose of their 401(k) account early and often is important for leading them to think more about how they contribute to and manage their accounts, says Laura Varas, CEO of industry research and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets....
Karen DeMasters, Sep 19, 2017

Non-Breadwinners Often 'Invisible' To Advisors, Study Says

A spouse who does not bring in any money is often ignored by financial advisors and hybrid or robo-advisors, according to a study released Tuesday by Hearts and Wallets, a data and consulting firm focused on understanding investors’ decision-making processes. The report found that contributions from the non-breadwinner spouse, as far as the financial security of the family and anticipated inheritances are concerned, often were marginalized when it came to planning for retirement. The study included 39 firms that provide human advisors, online advisors or hybrids providing financial advise to couples in the 53 to 64 age range...
Alessandra Malito, Aug 10, 2017

This loophole lets you withdraw early from your 401(k), but should you?

The Internal Revenue Service has a rule that states individuals can withdraw from a 401(k) plan if they’ve retired, quit or been fired at 55 years old -- that doesn’t necessarily mean they should take it… Hummel makes a point though — most Americans are not in the position to retire at 55, completely cutting off any sources of income aside from their retirement account distributions. Americans are dreadfully undersaved for retirement, and in turn retirees are turning to flexible jobs that allow them some freedom but also an income. About 10% of preretiree households are currently in the gig economy, and 11% of retiree households are in the gig economy, according to research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Thomas Coyle, Aug 8, 2017

Serving the Entire Family is Where FAs Have Robos Beat

Wealth industry experts say a growing recognition of the value of rigorous tax efficiency across household accounts gives traditional financial advisors a potential advantage over no-frills rivals. This article, the second part of a two-part series, looks at ways advisors use off-the-shelf and purpose-built technology to provide comprehensive advice for entire families… On one hand it promises clients cutting-edge efficiencies and a way for advisors to underline their lasting value. But it’s a multi-layered and difficult task, says Laura Varas of the Rye, N.Y.-based consultancy Hearts & Wallets. Fortunately, Varas stresses, the help traditional FAs need to compete as tax-efficient household wealth managers is in view….
Thomas Coyle, Aug 7, 2017

Tax Optimization: The Ultimate Differentiator?

Robo platforms, digital innovation and artificial intelligence dominate fintech coverage in wealth management. But tax optimization is a lower-profile capability with equal potential to revolutionize the industry — not just in customer service, but in terms of the industry’s very topography.… Tax-loss considerations are part of the tax-optimization equation, Laura Varas of the consulting firm Hearts & Wallets tells FA-IQ. But she says the concept also permeates overall goals-based retirement and legacy management — as distinct from, in her view, goals-based planning and investing. “Tax optimization is just what it sounds like: not paying more in taxes than you have to,” says Rye, N.Y.-based Varas. “But,” she adds, “it’s part of a bigger picture”….
Staff writer, Jul 9, 2017

Oh Brother: Firms’ Images, Language Shutting Women Out

Women make up about 10% of the portfolio managers in the U.S., and companies increasingly market products toward female investors. Yet many industry shops continue to use language in investor and other communications that harkens back to decades ago — when advisors were referred to as “customers’ men.”... Seemingly small transgressions such as gendered language in regulatory filings or generic client communications can send a larger message about the culture of a firm — and that can deter top female talent and customers. “I don’t think the message is at all subtle,” says Laura Varas, CEO of industry research and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets. “Using such salutations is akin to telling women they are not welcome, she says....
May 31, 2017

Does Gigging Work? An increase in the desire to stop work reflects people’s greater control of their ability to work

More households than ever (35%) in the past seven years “want to stop working/retire at a certain age,” according to analyses by Hearts & Wallets. After a several-year trend of the majority wanting to work as long as health permits, that group shrank to a minority (45%) this past year. Hearts & Wallets speculates that the increase in the desire to stop work reflects people’s greater control of their ability to work, thanks to the “gig” economy….
Mary Beth Franklin, Apr 21, 2017

Retirees embrace the gig economy

It turns out that the three-legged stool of retirement income may not be not be dead after all. But for a growing number of retirees, the components of retirement income are shifting....
Steve Fullerton, Apr 19, 2017

Dear Baby Boomer: Retirement Is This Close, and You Need to Deal With a Few Issues

I know you’re ready. You’re so close to retirement, you can taste the cool beverages on the beach and feel the sand between your toes… Here are four issues you’ll need to tighten up on in order to enjoy that sunny future… Besides creating a potential dependency problem that could dog your kids for life, all that help is drawing from resources you’ll need when you retire. Parents who are 65 years or older with financially independent kids are more than twice as likely to be retired as those who financially support their adult children, according to a 2015 study by retirement market research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Alessandra Malito, Apr 19, 2017

Get ready for senior Uber drivers — the gig economy and flexible jobs are part of retirement planning

In the future, Miss Daisy may be driving you Future retirees should, and do, expect to work — but in a different way. More than a third of future retirees plan to have employment income, and that may very well come from the gig economy. Flexible work arrangements are favorable for retirees, according to research firm Hearts & Wallets, which surveyed more than 5,000 households. About 10% of pre-retiree households are currently in the gig, or flexible, economy, and 11% of retiree households are in the gig economy. Future retirees expect employment to make up a quarter of their income — the other two common sources of retirement income include Social Security and retirement account withdrawals….
Beth Braverman, Apr 18, 2017

Is Our Low Home Ownership Rate a Risk to Americans’ Retirement?

Home ownership rates have declined dramatically since the housing crisis hit, as potential first-time homebuyers put off a purchase because they couldn’t afford or qualify for a mortgage or because they wanted to preserve flexibility in an unstable economy… Paying a mortgage represents a form of forced savings, as homeowners build equity over the long term. A new report from data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets finds that for households with less than $500,000 in investable assets, real estate represents more than half of those assets. It represents a third of assets for wealthier households....
Rebecca Moore, Apr 17, 2017

More Americans Say They Want to Stop Working and Retire

However, they may not be saving enough to reach this goal, according to Hearts & Wallets analyses. More households than ever (35%) in the past seven years “want to stop working/retire at a certain age,” analyses by Hearts & Wallets find. After a several year trend of a majority wanting to work as long as health permits, that number dropped to less (45%) this past year. Hearts & Wallets speculates that the increase in the desire to stop work is a reflection of a greater control of their ability to work due to the "gig" economy....
Rebecca Moore, Apr 17, 2017

Americans May Not Be Saving Enough to Reach Retirement Goals

More households than ever (35%) in the past seven years “want to stop working/retire at a certain age,” analyses by Hearts & Wallets find. After a several year trend of a majority wanting to work as long as health permits, that number dropped to less (45%) this past year. Hearts & Wallets speculates that the increase in the desire to stop work is a reflection of a greater control of their ability to work due to the “gig” economy....
Emile Hallez , Apr 18, 2017

Growing Legions of Freelance Workers Speak to IRA Demand

An increasing number of workers in the U.S. are turning to “gig” work for income, a trend that could prove to be an opportunity for IRA providers. About one third of U.S. households have at least one member who works freelance or part time, according to a survey recently conducted by research firm Hearts & Wallets. That represents nearly 28 million of the total 85 million households, and the majority of contract workers say they are employed that way by choice....
Beth Braverman, Apr 17, 2017

Is Our Low Home Ownership Rate a Risk to Americans’ Retirement?

Home ownership rates have declined dramatically since the housing crisis hit, as potential first-time homebuyers put off a purchase because they couldn’t afford or qualify for a mortgage or because they wanted to preserve flexibility in an unstable economy… Paying a mortgage represents a form of forced savings, as homeowners build equity over the long term. A new report from data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets finds that for households with less than $500,000 in investable assets, real estate represents more than half of those assets. It represents a third of assets for wealthier households....
Danielle Andrus, Apr 10, 2017

Most trustworthy financial firms according to consumers: Hearts & Wallets

Hearts & Wallets released a survey in March that identified which financial institutions consumers were more likely to trust....
John Sullivan, Apr 3, 2017

Most Trusted Brands For Retirement Saving?

Financial services companies have 'room to improve' 401k advisors looking to build a trusted brand might want to examine what the following firms are doing right, and then implement it (within reason) in their own practices. Hearts & Wallets found Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, SunTrust, USAA and Vanguard among top financial industry trust earners, especially when it comes to investors’ intent to invest more assets and make recommendations to friends and family.saving Bank of America, Capital One, and Fidelity also earned high marks, specifically in the brokerage space....
Danielle Andrus, Apr 2, 2017

SunTrust, USAA Among Most Trustworthy Financial Firms, Consumers Say

Hearts & Wallets survey finds they performed well despite lower trust in the banking sector overall Hearts & Wallets released a survey on Wednesday that identified which financial institutions consumers were more likely to trust. Regional bank SunTrust and insurance bank USAA were among the top performers, with two-thirds of consumers surveyed giving them high marks in trust. Hearts & Wallets noted that those firms earned consumers trust despite being in the bank category, which consumers rated poorly overall....
Emile Hallez, Mar 30, 2017

USAA, SunTrust, Ed Jones Most Trusted for Fund Sales: Survey

USAA, SunTrust and Edward Jones are the companies that investors said they trust the most when it comes to buying mutual funds, according to results of a recent survey by Hearts & Wallets. Other firms ranked high on that list include TIAA, Prudential, Charles Schwab and Ameriprise. One reason behind some of those companies’ high rankings is that they’ve undertaken campaigns to help customers understand what fees they pay and what the company does to earn that money, says Laura Varas, founder of Hearts & Wallets, a Boston-based research and consulting firm….
Mar 28, 2017

Here are the Firms Consumers Trust Most

Which financial brands do consumers trust most? Among investment firms, customers of Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, SunTrust, USAA and Vanguard are “the most likely to say they intend to invest more with the firms and they would recommend the firms to others,” according to Financial Advisor magazine. The magazine cites a survey of 5,000 consumers by financial research firm Hearts & Wallets. The study encompasses 27 financial services providers. It found that found that Edward Jones, Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise are most trusted when it comes to providing retirement advice….
Karen DeMasters, Mar 28, 2017

Customers Name Most Trusted Financial Firms

SunTrust and USAA are the best at earning customers’ trust, according to Hearts & Wallets, an investment research firm. The two financial organizations received high trust marks from two out of three of their customers in the Hearts & Wallets Stores & Success Metrics study released Wednesday….
Tom Anderson, Mar 28, 2017

What BlackRock's shift to stock-picking machines means for ordinary investors

BlackRock is ditching human managers in some of its actively managed funds in favor of technology-driven strategies... As self-driving cars may hurt taxi drivers and truckers, automation "just hit asset management people who make a half of million dollars a year," said Laura Varas, founder and CEO of financial research firm Hearts & Wallets. "What BlackRock is doing is huge and there will be more to come."….
Dervedia Thomas, Mar 26, 2017

Firms Fortify Product Development Process

A maturing market has forced firms to boost governance and rethink the frequency of launches. The process of bringing a new mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund to market has become more complex with fund managers stacking product committees with staffers from across the firm, rolling out fewer offerings and tapping into adviser networks to vet product ideas, fund providers told FA. "Over the last few... …on how an investor feels about a particular strategy, Laura Varas, CEO and founder of market research firm, Hearts & Wallets, told FA….
Bradley Saacks, Mar 20, 2017

Active Managers Must Spell Out Services to Win Trust, Business

Not many challenge the Oracle of Omaha’s investment choices, but after Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders called active managers “Wall Streeters charging high fees,” American Funds chairman and CEO Tim Armour felt compelled to respond.... Recent data from research firm Hearts & Wallets shows although fee awareness and transparency increased between 2015 and 2016 — fewer than a quarter of consumer respondents said that they don’t know what they pay for investment products compared to 31% in 2015 — the fact is that 41% still did “not at all” understand how providers earn money....
Tom Anderson, Mar 12, 2017

Man vs. machine: How to figure out if you should use a robo-advisor

It sounds like a financial folk tale. Human financial advisors are embodying John Henry the steel-driving man as they fight against the steam-powered hammer of robo-advisors… "Robo-advisor is a misleading term. It lumps a whole bunch of different companies under one word," said Laura Varas, Hearts & Wallets' founder and CEO. Varas' research finds that people use multiple financial institutions to handle their investments. Most investors are dabbling with automated services, but "robo-advisors are a long way away from managing most or all of somebody's retirement portfolio," she said....
Karen DeMasters, Feb 28, 2017

The Financial Firms Clients Love, And Why

“Who Do You Love?” asked Bo Diddley in his famous 1956 rock ’n’ roll song. Hearts & Wallets, a retail investor data and analysis website based in Rye, N.Y., asked the same question of more than 5,000 U.S. households about their brokers, banks and retirement platforms. The answer? USAA, Ameriprise and Edward Jones got the most recognition in the survey, which asked consumers about their favorite qualities in financial service companies, including their service and pricing. These three firms have won trust for a number of reasons, says Hearts & Wallets….
Tom Anderson, Jan 30, 2017

More robo-advisors are adding a human touch to their services

Betterment, a stand-alone automated investing service with about $7 billion in assets, announced Tuesday that it will offer access to human financial advisors... One in 4 people with $500,000 or more in investable assets uses digital tools and a paid advisor, according to a recent survey by financial services research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Jackie Noblett , Jan 9, 2017

Hancock to Debut Robo for 401(k), Rollover IRA Markets

John Hancock is rolling out an automated advice service to plan sponsor clients that relies on technology provider NextCapital to deliver what company officials say will be among the first robo-advisory platforms to provide uniform asset allocation advice, money management and financial planning tools across 401(k) and individual retirement accounts… Most consumers surveyed by Hearts & Wallets last year said they weren’t comfortable leaving their retirement assets at an old employer, but not all 401(k) plan providers with the ability to offer rollover IRA services do it well, says founder Laura Varas. “So there is still room for John Hancock and NextCapital to be distinctive,” she says....
Jackie Noblett, Jan 7, 2017

Fidelity, Schwab Robos Favored by Fast-Growing Gen X Market

As more affluent, but more skeptical, Gen X investors edge out millennials as the biggest users of robo-advisory programs, established distribution brands have an edge... But despite the $8.2 trillion in wealth Gen X represents, the digital advice industry as a whole has placed a much greater focus on younger people, says Laura Varas, founder of Hearts & Wallets....
Barbara A. Friedberg, Jan 3, 2017

Why Older Investors Like Human and Digital Advice

Older, wealthier investors are changing their investment advice preferences. No longer do they just sign up for financial advice from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) to manage all of their assets, pay a management fee north of 1% and follow the advisor’s recommendations blindly. The rapidly growing robo-advisor trend, along with investors’ growing sensitivity to both high fee funds and high fee advisors, is changing how older investors manage their money. Where Investors Get Advice A recent study by Hearts and Wallets, Explore Pre/Post-Retirees 2016: Digital Habits Revealed, found that one in every four 53 to 74 year olds are likely to combine guidance from both online resources and paid financial professionals….
Richard Eisenberg, Jan 3, 2017

Retirement planning, estate planning and investing: all struggles

Today’s grim financial news: Americans, especially those nearing retirement, are struggling with retirement planning, estate planning and making investment decisions. Those are key findings in the new Pain Points and Actions report from Hearts & Wallets, a noted data and consulting firm focused on understanding the drivers behind investor decision-making. In its annual survey, Hearts & Wallets polled 5,216 adults, oversampling for wealthier Americans, those they dub “late-career” (age 53 to 64) and preretirees who say they’re likely to retire within five years....
Bradley Saacks, Dec 18, 2016

Indie Giant Revamps Fee-Based Program Ahead of DOL

In preparation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, National Planning Holdings is jump-starting its WealthOne fee-based advisory platform with an array of product and technology changes geared toward helping its network of 3,500 advisors focus on goals-based investing… The goals-based model, which is crafted around an investor’s personal financial goals, goes beyond just the fiduciary standard, says Laura Varas, founder and CEO of Hearts & Wallets....
Tom Anderson, Dec 6, 2016

Investors want robos paired with live financial advice

Investors want a "bionic" financial advisor who offers a low-cost, automated investing platform paired with patient, personal advice, according to a new survey by the Financial Planning Association and Investopedia. One in 4 people with $500,000 or more in investible assets uses digital tools and a paid advisor, according to a recent survey by financial services research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Richard Eisenberg, Dec 5, 2016

Robo-Advisers: Not Just for Millennials Anymore? Boomers are intrigued, and a new robo targets retirees

Ever since robo-advisers hit the scene in 2008, these low-cost online automated investing firms (roughly $67 billion under management) have mostly targeted Millennials. The thinking at the likes of Betterment, Wealthfront and FutureAdvisor: people in their 20s and 30s are tech-savvy, want to keep investing costs down and don’t have enough money to interest human financial advisers… The Hearts & Wallets financial firm recently held focus groups of people age 53 to 74 (with $500,000 or more in investable assets), to see what they thought of robos. Some, Hearts & Wallets founder and CEO Laura Varas said, answered: What’s a robo? “We got a lot of blank stares,” she told me. But many who were using human financial advisers had heard of robos. And once all the participants were told how robo-advisers worked — using algorithms to select inexpensive ETFs or index funds, allocating portfolios between stocks and bonds, rebalancing holdings and consolidating holdings — they perked up....
Richard Eisenberg, Dec 5, 2016

Robo-Advisers: Not Just For Millennials Anymore?

Ever since robo-advisers hit the scene in 2008, these low-cost online automated investing firms (roughly $67 billion under management) have mostly targeted Millennials. The thinking at the likes of Betterment, Wealthfront and FutureAdvisor: people in their 20s and 30s are tech-savvy, want to keep investing costs down and don’t have enough money to interest human financial advisers… The Hearts & Wallets financial firm recently held focus groups of people age 53 to 74 (with $500,000 or more in investable assets), to see what they thought of robos. Some, Hearts & Wallets founder and CEO Laura Varas said, answered: What’s a robo? “We got a lot of blank stares,” she told me....
Dervedia Thomas, Nov 29, 2016

Older Investors Swayed By Digital Advice

The rise of digital advice is influencing how older investors are willing to pay for advice, according to a recent study from Hearts and Wallets. The study, titled How Older Affluent Investors Blend Live and On-line Advice & Reactions to BIC and Concepts for Aging, reveals digital advice isn’t just....
Jill Gregorie, Nov 28, 2016

GAO: 401(k) Regs Fail the Modern Workforce

Americans are losing out on a substantial amount of retirement savings due to overly restrictive eligibility and vesting requirements for employer-based 401(k) plans. And the youngest and most mobile workers are being hit hardest, according to a new study from the Government and Accountability Office (GAO). With the rising popularity of nontraditional work options including freelance and self-employment, now is the ideal time for those rules to be revisited, says Laura Varas, founder and CEO at Hearts & Wallets....
John Manganaro, Nov 27, 2016

Americans Seek Diversified Investments and Advice

Results of a new Hearts & Wallets analysis suggest advice is not a zero-sum game; participants are happy to pay for advice that is worth getting, whether it is delivered face-to-face or via a digital platform. At a high level, affluent older Americans have increased use of both digital and live advice resources, according to Hearts & Wallets. As a result, more investors are needing to carefully blend and incorporate different sources of advice to which they may assign different levels of trust and confidence....
Alessandra Malito, Nov 13, 2016

Want to invest automatically? Here are the types of robo advisers to consider

A rarity even a decade ago, robo advisers have gone mainstream. Well-known financial institutions, perhaps even your bank, now offer one… Some platforms are designed for a specific group, said Laura Varas, founder and chief executive officer of research firm Hearts & Wallets, such as younger generations, wealthier investors or specific genders….
Emily Sakamoto, Nov 6, 2016

Young, restless investors

There is no one way to group millennials — some follow U.S. Census data (those born between 1982 and 2000), while others consider the generation to encompass anyone under 35-years-old. But one fact stands irrefutable: They are the largest generation in history, and in the near future will not only inherit trillions of dollars, but also enter their prime money making and investing years… Use of mobile as a source of investment advice has jumped from 10% to 24% in the last five years, with millennials contacting 8.4 sources on average before making an investment-related decision, nearly double that of the post-retiree class, according data from Hearts & Wallets….
Elizabeth O'Brien, Nov 2, 2016

‘Honey, Are We Ever Going to Retire?’

Chances are, neither you nor your spouse envision rocking away your retirement on the front porch. Many people plan to continue working in some form after they stop the daily grind, or even plan to stay at their day jobs indefinitely, out of desire or financial necessity. Or you may have big ambitions for travel, hobbies, or other side projects… Talking about retirement can be challenging, particularly if you’re not sure if you can afford to retire at all. Only 35% of couples reported actively engaging in retirement planning together, according to a study from Hearts & Wallets....
John Sullivan, Oct 28, 2016

Robo Relax: More 401k Participants Combine Tech And Advisors

In another sign robo and traditional advisors are not an either/or proposition, half of all American investors, 401(k) participants and otherwise, use digital resources for investment information and advice. They’re also showing a “renewed receptivity for financial professionals,” according to research from data research provider Hearts & Wallets….
Emile Hallez, Oct 27, 2016

Retirement Questionable for Many, Despite Improved Economic Views

Workers are becoming warier about their retirement prospects, even as their views of the U.S. economy improve and defined contribution plans generally become more paternalistic. Only about 29% of workers feel that they are saving enough to be able to retire, a figure that has dropped by 5 percentage points over the past two years, according to a recent report by Hearts & Wallets....
Karen DeMasters, Oct 26, 2016

Investors Want Help -- Digital Or Human

Investors are looking for help wherever they can find it – whether that is digital or human professionals, according to two surveys released Thursday by Hearts & Wallets, an information source for retail investor data. Seventy-one percent of consumers use some type of financial advice, an increase of 5 percentage points since last year. At the same time, 42 percent of the 5,000 people surveyed use a paid financial professional, up from 40 percent in 2012, according to Hearts & Wallets. The increases may be due to the fact that half of those surveyed say they are challenged by investment selection….
Staff writer, Oct 25, 2016

More Americans Seeking Financial Advice

Even as younger and wealthier individuals gravitate toward digital resources for advice, a new report also finds renewed receptivity for financial professionals. According to new research by Hearts & Wallets, nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers now use a financial professional of any type, up from 66% last year, and 42% use a paid professional, up from 40% in 2012, a shift characterized by the researchers as a statistically significant increase given the margin of error with a sampling size of more than 5,000 U.S. households....
Javier Simon, Oct 13, 2016

Traditional Advisers Can Learn from ‘Robos’ on the Rise

Automated portfolio management platforms, or robo-advisers, are rapidly winning a sizable share of traditional advisory clients, from high-net worth retail investors to defined contribution retirement plans. Their presence in the marketplace has reached the point where traditional financial advisory firms can no longer just brush them off, according to Hearts & Wallets research. Traditional firms should instead focus on learning from the successes and failures of early robo-adviser entrants, a new white paper from the firm argues, looking for opportunities to take the best of both approaches. The Hearts & Wallets white paper looks at a number of recent developments in the robo-space to make the case....
Gabriella Iannetta, Oct 4, 2016

Is there an election year boost for robo advisers for women?

With high-profile women in the spotlight this election season, there's a change in attitudes and politics that female-focused investing and entrepreneurs can build upon, analysts say. "We've got a woman running for president and great female fintech entrepreneurs," says Laura Varas, CEO of data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets. "We are on the cusp of a generation of women leaders who don’t remember the term, 'liberated women.'"....
Marlene Y. Satter, Sep 21, 2016

Americans fearful about retirement funds, but upbeat about finances

Although Americans are more worried than ever about how they’ll manage to save enough for retirement, they’re apparently more upbeat about their overall financial situation. That’s according to new research from Hearts & Wallets, which found that nationally, investors are actually feeling better about the U.S. economy, inflation and retirement as compared to 2015. As total household investable assets and retirement asset growth are failing to grow this year, ever, despite growing in years past, consumers are more focused on building an emergency fund. That lack of growth in household assets is also driving consumers to take more risks with market volatility in the pursuit of gains in a low-interest-rate environment with 27 percent overall chasing returns despite volatility; that’s up from 22 percent in 2015....
Christopher Robbins, Sep 21, 2016

Americans Shrug As Their Net Worth Stagnates

Americans have become more optimistic about their finances despite flattening asset growth, according to a recent study from Rye, N.Y.-based financial consumer research firm Hearts & Wallets. In fact, Hearts & Wallets found that Americans were saving more in general and placing greater emphasis on building their emergency funds after the relatively flat growth of their investable assets and retirement assets in 2015. Year-over-year, investors’ outlook on the economy improved as their anxieties eased, according to the firm’s Investor Quantitative Database, an annual survey of more than 5,000 U.S. households....
Janet Levaux, Sep 20, 2016

Investors Want Help, but Fear Being ‘Ripped Off’ by Advisors: Survey

Survey also shows stagnant household wealth means consumers are more willing to risk market volatility in pursuit of gains. Most Americans say they need more help when it comes to saving money and preparing for retirement, according to the latest poll conducted by Hearts & Wallets. But they appear to have a high degree of mistrust of financial advisors. The survey of 5,000-plus households found that 62% of respondents wish they were doing a better job of saving. Plus, putting money away “is a largely unmet need” for more than 40 million households with $5.2 trillion in investable assets, who find it difficult or extremely difficult to know where to put savings, according to Hearts & Wallets research. At the same time, investors are feeling better about the U.S. economy, inflation and retirement in general vs. last year. Yet, close to half, 44%, said they fear being “ripped off” by financial professionals, the poll finds....
Dervedia Thomas, Sep 19, 2016

Hearts & Wallets: Investors More Comfortable With Volatility

Flat year-on-year retirement assets, fear of not being on track driving the pursuit of higher returns. Investors have become a bit more accepting of volatility as par for the course prompting the need for improved or sustained marketing efforts. That’s according to survey of over 5,000 US households in 2016 by Hearts & Wallets. The findings also present fund firms with the opportunity to engage investors....
Rebecca Moore, Sep 19, 2016

Americans Open to More Investment Risk to Improve Retirement Savings

Hearts & Wallets found less than one-third of accumulators feel their retirement savings are on track. Americans have growing concerns about how they’ll build their retirement nest egg, according to new research by Hearts & Wallets. Less than one-third of accumulators feel their retirement savings are on track, a drop of seven percentage points from two years ago. The decline was across all life stages with the largest decrease among those nearing the traditional age of retirement, Late Careers (ages 53 to 64), falling five percentage points in one year. One-third (31%) saving for retirement are unsure how they will fund their retirement, especially households with less than $100,000 in investable assets....
Beagan Wilcox Volz, Sep 15, 2016

BlackRock Flags Robo Risks for Regulators

BlackRock in a recent white paper urges regulators to pay closer attention to certain aspects of how robo-advisors operate, and what the differences between them mean to investors. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule may only accelerate the sales momentum that has helped online advisory models surge in recent years, heightening the need for effective oversight by regulators, BlackRock writes in the 16-page paper. In it, the firm, which last year acquired its own robo, FutureAdvisor, also discusses factors promoting the growth of these programs, differences between different vendor models and other related subjects… BlackRock’s paper is “one of the standard plays in the playbook of how to defeat innovative new entrants,” says Laura Varas, CEO of Hearts & Wallets. Greater regulatory scrutiny of robo-advisors could make it “more difficult or impossible” for some to operate, she says....
Danielle Andrus, Aug 9, 2016

Most Consumers Use Mix of Technology, Live Advice: Report

Investors, especially affluent ones, are comfortable using digital tools in their decision making process, according to a white paper from Hearts & Wallets. Nearly two-thirds of investors with between $500,000 and $2 million use digital tools, and over half of those with between $100,000 and $500,000 do so. “Increasing use of technology has paralleled investors’ association with self-determination in their investment decision making," as opposed to relying on others, according to Todd Hiller, vice president of Hearts & Wallets and author of the report....
Grace Noto, Aug 9, 2016

Robos and the DOL Ruling: The Future of Wealth Management

Roboadvisors are among the hottest trends in fintech — or invest tech, if you prefer — but a new proposed ruling from the Department of Labor has raised questions, specifically: Are roboadvisors fiduciaries? Robos, which provide personalized advice based on algorithms to clients without any need whatsoever for human interaction, seem to fall into a gray area with the Department of Labor’s new ruling, which those in the financial service sector have been hearing chatter about for some time. “As far as I understand, it’s still not clear what robos are classified as; it’s not clear yet whether an algorithm can be classified as a fiduciary,” said Laura Varas, whose data and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets provides consumer-driven insights for the financial services industry. “However, for banks, giving customers access to this Betterment-type robo is really a great opportunity.”...
Emile Hallez, Aug 7, 2016

Lessons From the Robos: It’s Not All About Investment Advice

Mutual fund providers and broker-dealers trying to compete with robo-advisors should consider the ways people use the new entrants’ services, which are not solely for investment management, according to a new white paper. Last week, Fidelity opened its new robo, Fidelity Go, to investors, joining the numerous other fund providers that have recently moved into the online advice market. But before acquiring or starting their own robos, fund providers should first examine the range of services that online advisory platforms offer clients — aside from low-cost investment portfolios — as well as how they market themselves, says Laura Varas, CEO of Hearts & Wallets....
Dervedia Thomas, Aug 7, 2016

Robos Provide Blueprint For Better Product Development, Marketing

Asset managers acquiring or partnering with robo-advisers may be missing an opportunity to enhance their marketing and product development by just focusing on institutions, according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets. The study, titled Lessons from Robos for Digital Enhancement, examines what consumers like best about robos....
Eleanor Laise, Aug 3, 2016

Shifting Gears from Saving to Spending in Retirement

Retirement is often described as the “decumulation” phase—a period when retirees are steadily spending down their assets. But many retirees are not only leaving their nest eggs intact but also squirreling away a big chunk of their income—accumulating assets as they move through retirement, recent studies show....
Beth Braverman, Jul 31, 2016

A Shocking Number of Adults Are Still Mooching Off Their Parents

August 1, 2016 Young adults who graduate from college but still rely on their parents for financial support have become commonplace since the Great Recession, but a new report finds that the arrangement can last for decades… Adult children who continue to rely on their parent for financial assistance may be jeopardizing the older generation’s financial security. Baby boomers with financially dependent children are half as likely to be retired as peers who are still footing their kids’ bills, according to a 2015 report financial research firm Hearts & Wallets....
Alessandra Malito, Jul 6, 2016

Legg Mason acquires 82% stake in robo-adviser Financial Guard

Legg Mason, an asset manager with $718 billion under management, acquired an 82% equity interest in a robo-adviser called Financial Guard. The firm plans to offer the digital advice platform, which will fall under the company's alternative distribution strategies business, to advisers, record keepers, banks and insurers. Executives said the purchase will help advisers stay on top of technological innovations as well as meet the needs of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which requires all advisers to act in their clients' best interests in retirement accounts. Terms of the deal were....
Beagan Wilcox Volz, Jun 30, 2016

Widespread Retirement Anxiety Sparking 401(k) Outlash

The U.S retirement industry’s reputation in recent weeks has taken a bruising in popular culture. Last week, former banker and “Car Czar” Steven Rattner called for a complete overhaul of the retirement system and advised investors to avoid actively managed funds in the meantime. The opinion, which described the system as “rigged,” came weeks after comedian John Oliver devoted most of his half-hour show to slamming retirement plan providers, the ads they’ve created and the complicated nature of 401(k) fees....
Richard Eisenberg, Jun 20, 2016

How to Declare Your Financial Independence

As the 4th of July nears, what better time to talk about a few ways that could help people in their 50s or 60s declare their financial independence within the next few years? You may have noticed that the goal of “financial independence” and its close cousin “financial freedom” seem to be replacing the traditional goal of “retirement.” “Freedom and freedom money really resonate a lot more than ‘retirement’ when we do focus groups,” said Chris Brown, a partner at the Hearts & Wallets financial services market research firm....
Andrew Greene, Jun 13, 2016

Investor Dissatisfaction Creates a $15T Blind Spot

Financial service providers, intermediaries and retirement plan recordkeepers have a $15 trillion blind spot in the form of a massive segment of clients who are dissatisfied but by all appearances seem to be loyal customers. This is among the findings of dual studies recently issued by research firm Hearts & Wallets that examine the motives prompting investors to switch financial service providers in 2015 and the factors that might push others to do so in the future....
Beagan Wilcox Volz, Jun 8, 2016

Vanguard Puts 401(k) Savers' Retirement Income Front and Center

Vanguard has redesigned its participant website to make estimated retirement income more prominent in an attempt to prod greater savings at a time when many say the country faces a retirement crisis… Getting participants thinking about the purpose of their 401(k) account early and often is important for leading them to think more about how they contribute to and manage their accounts, says Laura Varas, CEO of industry research and consulting firm Hearts & Wallets. “It’s good that Vanguard is putting that out front and center for people because consumers need to see that. It needs to be in their faces a bit more,” she says….
Staff writer, May 24, 2016

Millennials stay at home rather than with their partners

Alexandra Smith of the College Republican National Committee, and James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal discuss a new study on Millennial living habits....
Tom Anderson, May 18, 2015

Investors don't know what they own in their portfolios

You can probably name the starting lineup of your favorite baseball team or the cast of that television show you can't miss. But what about the top performers in your retirement portfolio? Only two-thirds of Americans can describe the investment products they hold in their portfolios, down from 76 percent five years ago, according to a new analysis from retirement market researcher Hearts & Wallets....
Nick Godt, Apr 28, 2016

Ed Jones, Wells Fargo Lead on Fee Clarity, Unbiased Service

Investors rank Edward Jones and Wells Fargo Advisors as the top full-service broker-dealers in providing both clarity about fees and unbiased services for investors, according to research firm Hearts & Wallets. Recently released results of a survey of over 5,000 participants show that the two firms, along with Scottrade, received top marks from 60% or more of their customers for making fees “clear and understandable.”....
Richard Eisenberg, Apr 28, 2016

What Investors Know About Fees: Next To Nothing

You’ve probably seen the Charles Schwab commercial with a Millennial son asking his boomer dad how much his broker charges and the father says, “I dunno.” Turns out, U.S. investors are just as clueless as that dad about the fees they pay....
Marlene Y. Satter, Apr 28, 2016

Americans clueless on investment fees

Americans may price-watch on a lot of things, but investment fees aren’t one of them. That’s according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets, which found that not only do people not have a good handle on what various financial products cost them, many believe they pay nothing....
Corie Hengst, Apr 27, 2016

Most Americans Think Financial Products Are Free

Most Americans believe they pay nothing for their financial products or have no idea what they pay, according to a study by Hearts & Wallets, “Wants & Pricing: What Investors Buy & Competitive Ratings.” About one-third (31%) say don’t know what they pay for their financial products, an increase of four percentage point in one year. Less than one-third (28%) say for certain they are charged a fee by a retail financial “store,” which Hearts & Wallets defines as retail and defined contribution providers that work directly with investors. Of the 41% who say they pay their financial store “nothing” and instead pay through actual products, 72% say they pay nothing for the product....
Dervedia Thomas, Apr 27, 2016

Investor Fee Confusion Supports Dollar Fee Disclosure

Investors lack a clear understanding of what they're paying to invest in mutual funds, according to a new study from Hearts & Wallets. The study, titled Wants & Pricing: What Investors Buy & Competitive Ratings, reveals not only do some investors not know what they’re paying, some may....
John Manganaro, Mar 31, 2016

Strong Push for Self-Directed Investing

A look at the “anxious male” investor segment reveals they are increasingly more self-directed, going from 62% self-directed in 2010 to 78% in 2015, according to new Hearts & Wallets research. The findings are drawn from the Hearts & Wallets Investor Quantitative (IQ) Database, says Laura Varas, CEO and founder of Hearts & Wallets. She explains that the firm decided to do a deep dive into male investor behaviors in order to “move beyond gross generalizations” and to do more effective segmentation and analysis of this large and diverse group of investors....
Steven Butler, Feb 28, 2016

MILLENNIALS ROCK THE FINANCIAL PLANNING WORLD

Laura Varas has a few tips for anyone starting the search for sound advice on managing their money. Start with personality — yours, naturally, but don’t forget the personality of whomever, or whatever, you are turning to in order to get your financial life in shape. These days, amid a proliferation of new and old ways to manage money, there’s a personality out there waiting for you, much like that mythical soul mate, whether you are rich or poor, indebted or endowed, savvy or slow, wise or wondering. “One size never fits all,” says Varas, founder of Hearts & Wallets, a financial industry research and consulting firm. What she wants to know: “Does the brand resonate with my personality?”...
Alessandra Malito, Feb 23, 2016

Wealthfront, staying true to robo roots, faces uphill battle in race for assets

Despite facing competitors growing at a faster clip, Wealthfront, one of the first big robo-advisers in the market, hasn't announced any plans to expand its customer base by working with financial advisers or other financial services companies.As far as growing assets, such a decision puts the company at a disadvantage, experts say. While Wealthfront is still a formidable figure in the robo market, competitors are gaining or running past it with large financial industry partners and extended business strategies. "What their roots were founded in was bringing transparency and low cost to the....
Karen DeMasters, Feb 14, 2016

Couples Avoid Talking About Retirement

Most couples do not discuss their retirement plans and the number who do is declining, according to Hearts & Wallets, a retail investor data source. One-third of couples reported talking about their retirement goals last year, a decline from 40 percent in 2013. At the same time, at least one person in one-quarter of the couples say they fear their partner will not be able to manage finances without them....
Aubrey Cohen, Feb 13, 2016

5 potentially major threats to your retiremen

Even if you’ve been diligently saving for retirement and have your money socked away in the right investments for your age, unforeseen problems can disrupt your careful planning. Threats to your retirement can come from both inside your own family and from strangers who want to take advantage of you. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself....
Penelope Wang, Elizabeth O'Brien, Kerri Anne Renzulli, Feb 6, 2016

The 7 Retirement Moves Couples in their 50s Should Make Now

Many people head toward retirement as part of a couple. But that doesn’t mean that spouses are working together as a team. Only one-third of couples have even discussed retirement planning, according to a 2016 study by consultants Hearts & Wallets....
Richard Eisenberg, Feb 9, 2016

A Money Pro’s 3 Top Tips for Your Finances

If you’re not paying attention to your finances because you find it boring or you use the excuse “I’m not good with numbers,” I have two words for you: Oh, please. You are ultimately responsible for your financial life and financial security. You can’t rely on a spouse and certainly not on your financial adviser to care more about your well being than you do. That’s the core message of Liz Davidson’s new book, What Your Financial Advisor Isn’t Telling You, and what she told me when I interviewed her about it. And I couldn’t agree with her more....
Richard Eisenberg, Jan 20, 2016

How Boomer Parents Feel About Leaving Inheritances

A ticklish question for boomer parents (come a little closer, since I want to whisper it): Do you plan to leave your kid an inheritance? Based on a fascinating report by the Hearts & Wallets financial services research firm, it looks like affluent members of the boomer generation are split about this. But here’s where it gets interesting: Those in the no-inheritance camp aren’t the selfish Scrooges you might suspect. And many of the ones planning to leave inheritances are nervous about it....
Matthew Beaton, Jan 19, 2016

BlackRock: Robo to Buttress Relationships, Score Deals in '16

BlackRock’s newly purchased robo-advisor will tighten ties with distributors, said CEO Larry Fink Friday, adding that the firm will look to make similar investments in its business in 2016....Robos essentially represent a chance for the “pendulum of power” to swing from distributors back in favor of product providers, says Laura Varas, partner at Hearts & Wallets. End investors will work more closely with and become more reliant on the robo, she says....
Dan Kadlec, Jul 28, 2015

Americans Left $24 Billion in Retirement Money on the Table Last Year

Personal savings rose last year, as conscientious workers reined in their spending. But a smaller portion of those savings were stashed in employer-sponsored retirement plans, new research shows. This and other recent findings suggest that the much-vaunted 401(k) match may not be the silver bullet for retirement savings that is widely presumed. Personal savings jumped to 5.5% last year from 4.6% in 2013, according to data from Hearts and Wallets, a financial research firm. In the same period, average household savings allotted to employer-sponsored retirement plans fell to 22% from 29%. Among households eligible for a plan, only 56% participated, down from 60% the previous year....
Karen Damato, Jun 17, 2015

Do ‘Robo Advisers’ Sell a Product or a Service?

Do technology-based “robo advisers” primarily offer souped-up investment products or services that can include calming nerves and motivating people to save more money? The product/service continuum is one way to think about the new wave of offerings and what they will mean for consumers and the financial-services landscape. The answer can vary from one robo firm to another, as well as in the perceptions and needs of different users. In a recent series of focus groups by research firm Hearts & Wallets, full-time workers between the ages of 21 and 39 were shown materials about four robo advisers and asked about their perceptions of the firms, some of which the people were already familiar with. Participants generally classified three of the firms as offering products and the other as providing a service, says Laura Varas, a co-founder and principal of the Rye, N.Y.-based researcher....
Karen Damato, Apr 28, 2015

Two-Timing Your Broker? Join the Crowd

The relationship between many investors and their brokers isn’t monogamous. Investors who work with a full-service brokerage often work with a lower-cost provider as well, according to data from research firm Hearts & Wallets. Forty-seven percent of Merrill Lynch’s full-service brokerage customers also use a self-service firm—most commonly Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab or Vanguard Group—according to Hearts & Wallets’ database and annual survey of 5,500 households. The figures are 41% at Morgan Stanley, 36% at Wells Fargo’s Wells Fargo Advisors and 30% at Edward Jones, the research firm says....
Tom Anderson, Mar 12, 2015

'Boomerang' kids are ruining their parents' retirement

Having your adult children living in your basement is worse than you think. Boomerang kids can actually hurt your chances of a sound retirement. Those 65 years or older with financially independent children are more than twice as likely to be retired than people of the same age group who financially support their adult children, according to a new report that retirement market research firm Hearts & Wallets shared with CNBC.com....
Donna Rosato, Feb 24, 2015

The New Rules for Early Retirement

What to do: The most straightforward solution is saving more or living on less. You can catch up with bursts of savings—often easier once big expenses like college or a mortgage fall away. According to retirement research firm Hearts & Wallets, saving 15% or more of your income for eight to 10 years—early or late in your career—can ensure that you save enough to retire comfortably at 65. Such power saving is common among early retirees too, says Hearts & Wallets co-founder Laura Varas, but the rate is 25% or more.
Elizabeth O'Brien, May 9, 2015

Three things to remember when giving money to your kids

Some 17% of boomer households, or nearly 8 million, still support adult children, and this assistance can seriously compromise parents’ ability to retire, according to a study this spring by Hearts & Wallets, a financial research firm....
Donna Rosato, Jul 26, 2012

Save your way to $1 million

Research shows that people who practice so-called burst saving are far more likely to sock away enough money for a comfortable retirement than those who don't. According to a study by the research firm Hearts & Wallets, 64% of burst savers were able to build a nest egg equal to at least 10 times their annual pay, a common benchmark for a financially secure retirement....