A quick perusal of the consumer press tells you all you need to know about how clients feel: They ain't happy.
The Wall Street Journal weekend edition (I am that much of a geek) featured an asset allocation horror story of an elderly couple - one with Alzheimer's - who gave a broker $100,000. He promptly invested it in only four securities; Ford Motor, General Motors, GMAC and Sears Roebuck Acceptance. As the paper's indispensable Jason Zweig noted, "[The investments] quickly fell."
The same day, the Journal featured Shelly Banjo's "How to choose a financial advisor":
"Small wonder that many investors are getting reluctant to put their faith in experts. More than three-quarters of individuals with at least $1 million to invest intend to move money away from their financial advisors, and more than half intend to leave their advisors altogether, according to Prince & Associates Inc."
Whatever your boomer clients are telling you, they're reading stuff like this, and talking with one another. I was going to use some ridiculous "Eye of the Tiger," back against the wall, overly dramatic metaphor, but you get the point. As an industry, we need to seriously step it up - with our investment performance, customer service, our ability to filter the noise, whatever.
Paul Bennett and Stanley Corey certainly have, and we're proud to feature them as the 2009 Boomer Market Advisor(s) of the Year. Not to take anything away from past winners, but to receive this kind of recognition in year such as this sets the bar that much higher for the rest of us. They're doing right by their boomer clients and building their business (even now) as a result. So for the rest of us, no complaining, no excuses. Too much is at stake.