As longer life spans and a difficult economy make financial planning that much harder, education is that much more important, according to a white paper by Corporate Insight.
The burden for educating investors falls mainly on financial services firms, according to Corporate Insight, and firms are responding in innovative ways that incorporate multimedia and social media.
Corporate Insight surveyed both insurers and retirement plan providers for the white paper and found they were similarly invested in educating consumers.
Video was one of the most popular methods of educating consumers, especially among annuity firms, according to the report. A video can provide consumers with an overview of a particular product before they dive into prospectuses and fact sheets.
The paper noted that these resources should be prominent and easy to find. Seventy percent of firms surveyed said their videos could be accessed from a “Video” or “Multimedia Resources” link in the main navigation bar on their website.
Half of the survey respondents offer annuity-related videos to consumers, and half offer them on their advisor sites. The most effective videos are brief and organized into “chapters,” and incorporate audio and visual aids, narration, and charts and graphs that compare products and features.
The report noted that while there is little distinction between how insurers and retirement plan providers display educational videos, plan providers typically offer a wider range of content like market updates.