It's that time of year again: New Year's resolution season, when Americans of all ages seek to shed their bad habits and make some much-needed changes through goal-setting. Chief among many individuals' ambitions is to save more money. With the economy firing on cylinders, these money management aims could lead to more job opportunities for financial advisors in a variety of specialties.
"33% to 50% of Americans want to save more in 2019."
According to a recent poll conducted by CIT Bank, approximately 33 percent of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers intend to prioritize saving in 2019. Keeping more of their hard-earned money is a widespread desire for young people - Generations X and Z, whose ages range from the mid-teens to mid-thirties - with 50 percent making this a New Year's resolution.
Although news headlines often suggest otherwise - indicating that people don't have much, if anything, in the way of emergency funds - many Americans enjoy saving. Indeed, a recent Gallup poll showed that approximately 60 percent of respondents preferred it to spending. This finding speaks to people's intentions if not the likelihood that they'll see through their goals to fruition.
Advisory services as popular as ever
Their doing so may lead to more employment possibilities in the financial industry. Over the last decade, in fact, financial and advisory services have skyrocketed. For instance, in 2008, 83 percent of advisory firms offered retirement income planning to their clients, based on a study conducted by LIMRA and Ernst & Young. Today, it's practically universal at 97 percent. The same is true for portfolio management. Ten years ago, 62 percent of financial professionals made this service available. Now, it's 98 percent.
Estates and trusts are another specialization more Americans are seeking and firms are filling with highly qualified professionals.
Laura Murach, associate director for distribution at the worldwide research and development organization, chalked up the expansion of these service offerings to consumer demand.
"As competition grows, consumers now expect their financial advisor to offer a broad range of products and services to meet their individual financial needs," Murach explained. "As a result, we are seeing similarities across all practice models in terms of their service and product offerings. And by offering a wider array of services, advisors can deepen their relationships with clients."
Client relations specialist is an additional role that's increasingly common, and plays a pivotal part in ensuring customers receive careful attention and treatment so they can accomplish their stated objectives.
Working with financial advisors pays off
It seems Americans' retaining financial advisory services is paying off for them - quite literally. For example, among Baby Boomers aiming to save more money for their retirement, 95 percent have savings to spend, according to a study done by the Insured Retirement Institute. The same can't be said for those who go about the process alone - at least not to the same extent. Just 43 percent of respondents without an advisor have set aside funds for use when they leave the workforce.
Not only that, but those who work with financial advisors tend to save more than those who don't. On average, 86 percent of respondents in the IRI study who consulted with a money management professional had at least $100,000 put away for retirement. The same was true for just 65 percent of Boomers who opted to save on their own.
Translation? Financial professionals looking to take on a new role - or change careers - in 2019 should be sure to bring their "A" games because clients have high expectations. And if next year is anything like 2018, financial firms will likely remain in hiring mode.