For affluent Americans, having more than one financial adviser has now become the norm.
One in three Americans with more than $100,000 in investable assets started a relationship with a new financial services firm last year, seeking to combine the strengths of various firms to gain advice and resources, according to a new study released Tuesday by Hearts & Wallets, a financial research platform for consumers.
Contrary to the popular image of wealthy investors dialing up their Wall Street broker, the Hearts & Wallets survey found that affluent investors are more likely to use self-service firms — discount brokerages like E*Trade or TD Ameritrade — than full-service brokers. More than 70 percent of investors with $500,000 or more use those self-service brokers, even if it’s for smaller “play money” accounts, compared with 40 percent for full-service firms such as Ameriprise and Edward Jones.
“It’s astonishing the self-service competitive set has deeper reach into investors with $500,000-plus, engaging more affluent investors than the full-service competitive set,” said Laura Varas, Hearts & Wallets partner and co-founder, in a press release.
Some wealthy investors use both. A common pattern is what Hearts & Wallets calls “stable two-timing,” or when investors balance a self-service firm with a full-service firm. Some consumers might even tap into multiple high-service firms to obtain different advice.
“Just as in retail stores, wealthy customers may trust and frequent a Bloomingdale’s, but they will still shop at Costco, too,” Varas said. “Smart consumers compare.”
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The federal budget deficit rose by 16 percent in the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year, which began last October. The shortfall came to $607 billion, compared to $523 billion in the same period the year before, according to a U.S. Treasury report released Thursday and reported by Bloomberg. Both revenue and spending rose, but spending rose faster. Revenues came to $2.54 trillion, up 1.3 percent from the same nine-month period in 2017, while spending came to $3.15 trillion, up 3.9 percent.
Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner sent a letter this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma requesting that they “immediately release the funding details for the Navigator program for the upcoming open enrollment period for 2019.” Navigators are the state and local groups that help people sign up for Affordable Care Act plans.
“In years past, grant applications and new funding opportunities were released by CMS in April, CMS required Navigator organizations to apply by June and approved applications and new funding by late August,” Pennsylvania’s Jessica Altman wrote. “The current lack of guidance has put Navigator organizations – and states - far behind in their planning and creates an inability for the Navigator organizations to design a successful plan for helping people enroll during the 2019 open enrollment period.”
U.S. fertility rates have fallen to record lows for two straight years. “Because the fertility rate subtly shapes many major issues of the day — including immigration, education, housing, the labor supply, the social safety net and support for working families — there’s a lot of concern about why today’s young adults aren’t having as many children,” Claire Cain Miller explains at The New York Times’ Upshot. “So we asked them.”
Here are some results of the Times’ survey, conducted with Morning Consult. Read the full Times story for more details.
Gallup says that, for the first time in the 18 years it’s been asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than half say they are "extremely proud." Just 47 percent now say they’re extremely proud, down from 70 percent in 2003.
Another 25 percent say they’re “very proud” — but the combined 72 percent who say they’re extremely or very proud is also the lowest Gallup has recorded. Pride levels among liberals and Democrats have plunged since 2017. Overall, 74 percent of Republicans and just 32 percent of Democrats call themselves “extremely proud” to be American.