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Securian Survey: Young, Female Business Owners Who Are Sole Decision-Makers Are Key Prospects for Advisors

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Small business owners who are more likely than not to seek a financial advisor tend to be young, sole decision-makers and women, according to a new survey.

Securian Financial Group, Inc., St. Paul, Minn., published this finding in a summary of results from a 2011 quantitative analysis study of small business owners to learn how they use financial advisors. An update of a 2009 report on the SBO-advisor relationship, the 2011 study surveyed 453 SBOs who run for-profit companies and have from three to 250 employees.

Ninety-three percent of small businesses with between 3 and 25 employees are more likely than not to use an advisor, the survey finds. They are also more likely than not to use an advisor if they’re the sole decision-maker of the business (60%), female-owned (43%) and sole proprietors (23%).

Among the SBO who are more likely than not to use an advisor, the survey adds, 73% have personal retirement planning needs, 46% are industry professionals or offer technical services and 38% are GenXers.

The key issues of concern to SBOs seeking an advisor, the survey finds, include “building wealth for myself” (cited by 45% of the respondents), “taking care of the family financially” (41%) and “personal retirement plans” (40%).

Less likely SBOs are comparatively more motivated to seek an advisor given a change in business circumstances, the study says. They are also older and have owned their businesses longer, and they indicate greater concern with having an exit strategy than do likely SBOs.

There are several services used by likely SBOs, acquired either through an advisor or their own efforts, the survey notes. They include life insurance for oneself (75%), personal retirement plans (73%), business ownership strategy (72%) and brokerage accounts (63%). Likely SBOs also flagged group insurance (63%), capital management (59%), employee retirement (51%), exit strategy (41%), life insurance for employees (33%) and annuities (29%).

The study adds that approximately one-half of SBOs use a financial for personal and/or business needs, suggesting that the SBO market offers “significant potential for growth.”

An executive summary of the survey can be found here.


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