As an increasing number of baby boomers seek financial guidance, advisors desire more products and processes to aid them in helping clients achieve a secure income stream in retirement. Yet advisors are somewhat stymied in their search for new solutions due to a number of reasons, including the complexity and a lack of track records for newer retirement income products, and a scarcity of training and educational programs from providers.
Those were a few of the key takeaways from a recent research project undertaken by GDC Research and Practical Perspectives, independent research firms that focus on wealth management providers and retirement solution distributors. Results were harvested from an online poll done in November of last year of financial professionals, including wirehouse and regional brokers; independent brokers, financial planners, RIAs and bank/insurance representatives. About 600 surveys were obtained.
“There is significant demand for solutions that advisors can use with retirement income clients,” said Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives and co-author of the report, in a statement. “Managing portfolios to achieve the multiple goals of retirement clients is a critical and growing element of most practices. Yet the delivery of retirement income support remains highly customized and nuanced, making it hard for product providers to gain focus and traction in this marketplace.”
Most telling, the report concluded that a “sizable minority” of advisors lack the processes and capabilities needed to appropriately support retirement income clients. At the same time, the results underscore the growing market for retirement income expertise: More than 70 percent of advisors said they had increased the number of retirement income clients they serve in the past 12 months.
Advisors rely on a range of products for retirement income clients, with larger annuity carriers and asset managers among the most prominent providers, noted Dennis Gallant, president of GDC Research and co-author of the report, in a statement. Firms singled out by those advisors polled included Jackson, Blackrock/iShares, Prudential, American Funds, Franklin Templeton, Lincoln Financial and PIMCO.