A new report by Cogent Research has found that 13% of affluent Americans closed at least one investment account in the last year, a figure that Cogent says is more than double the pace reported in the previous five years.
The main reasons for closures: Investors cite consolidation, rollovers, fees, or a need to access funds. According to Cogent’s 2010 Investor Brandscape report, among those who closed accounts, 15% reported closing a Fidelity Investment account, 11% closed a Wells Fargo/Wachovia Securities account, and 10% closed either a Merrill Lynch or E*Trade account. (See chart below for percentage of investor account closures by distributor).
The net result, Cogent says, is that the total number of accounts dropped from 3.54 per household in 2009 to 3.29 accounts in 2010. “Providers have long known that they would need to step-up their game if they hoped to keep their fair share of the billions of dollars in retirement assets about to become un-tethered,” said Meredith Lloyd Rice, Senior Research Director and author of the Investor Brandscape report, in a statement. “Well, the game is not only on, the competition just got tougher given that fewer accounts are up for grabs.”