“The mass affluent hold a unique set of attitudes that straddle the line between the mass market and the affluent, creating a consumer group that can be of particular value to financial services brands. Their motivations in selecting new products often align with those of the mass market, demonstrating that they do not require the high maintenance of the highest-tier affluent group. However, their accumulated wealth through years of financial experience distinguishes them from the mass market as a prosperous group that was shielded from many of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass affluent consumers bring a combination of loyalty and wealth that characterize them as steady, dependable customers that use a plethora of financial products and tend to achieve the majority of their goals.”
– Patrick Rahlfs, Senior Research Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas

  • The impact of COVID-19 and vaccine availability on financial needs of the mass affluent
  • Financial goals of the mass affluent, including those already accomplished, short-term and long-term
  • Factors that lead to choice of bank, credit card and investment company among the mass affluent
  • Mass affluent attitudes toward personal wealth and digital behaviors

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • The mass affluent are a financially experienced and accomplished group
                    • When selecting financial products, the mass affluent still prioritize the basics
                      • The mass affluent have rigid attitudes and behaviors
                        • Market Overview
                          • Impact of COVID-19 on financial needs of the mass affluent
                            • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on financial needs of the mass affluent, December 2021
                          • Opportunities and challenges
                            • Short term
                              • Recovery
                              • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                • The mass affluent have sophisticated financial profiles
                                  • Mass affluent consumers skew older than average
                                    • Median income dropped in 2020 due to COVID-19 ramifications
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Mass affluent consumers own many financial products
                                        • Figure 2: Financial product ownership, 2021
                                      • Mass affluent consumers are older than average
                                        • Figure 3: Age composition of household investable asset groups, 2021
                                    • Market Factors

                                      • Median household income declined in 2020 despite a long-term positive trajectory
                                        • Figure 4: US median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2010-20
                                      • Median household income peaks between the ages of 45-54
                                        • Figure 5: US median household income, by age of householder, 2020
                                    • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                      • The affluent are targeted by Bank of America’s new rewards tiers
                                        • The Amex Platinum card seeks a younger audience
                                          • Brands leverage experience and lack of fees when promoting investment services
                                            • Bank of America expands its Preferred Rewards tiers
                                              • Figure 6: Bank of America diamond and diamond honors home site video
                                            • American Express targets a younger audience with its Platinum relaunch
                                              • Figure 7: American Express Platinum direct mail piece, 2021
                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                            • J.P. Morgan leverages its experience
                                              • Figure 8: J.P. Morgan wealth management digital display ad, 2021
                                            • SoFi promotes its robo-advisor alongside a lack of fees
                                              • Figure 9: SoFi robo advisor paid facebook ad, 2021
                                          • Market Opportunities

                                            • Cross-sell offers may resonate more with mass affluent consumers than pure acquisition
                                              • Mass affluent Millennials are a small but mighty segment
                                                • Challengers can cater to the mass affluent’s passive attitudes
                                                • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                  • Many financial goals are in the rearview mirror for mass affluent consumers
                                                    • Mass affluent consumers weigh typical factors when choosing products
                                                      • Despite a dynamic economic environment, mass affluent consumers have been content with their products
                                                        • Vaccines did little to impact financial attitudes
                                                          • Digital reliance is low among the mass affluent
                                                            • Regional and age factors impact likelihood to seek advisors
                                                            • Prioritization of Financial Goals

                                                              • Mass affluent consumers have already achieved a variety of financial goals
                                                                • Figure 10: Financial goals already achieved, 2021
                                                              • Increasing household income is the mass affluent’s most common short-term goal
                                                                • Figure 11: Financial goals of the next year, 2021
                                                            • Choice of Bank

                                                              • Physical convenience is crucial to the mass affluent
                                                                • Figure 12: Factors behind choice of bank, 2021
                                                              • Younger consumers seek a wider variety of features from their bank
                                                                • Figure 13: Factors behind choice of bank by age, 2021
                                                            • Choice of Credit Card

                                                              • Despite wealth, mass affluent consumers prefer avoiding annual credit card fees
                                                                • Figure 14: Factors behind choice of credit card, 2021
                                                              • Men are more likely to seek benefits from credit cards
                                                                • Figure 15: Factors behind choice of credit card by gender, 2021
                                                            • Choice of Investment Company

                                                              • Reputation is paramount in choice of investment company
                                                                • Figure 16: Factors behind choice of investment company, 2021
                                                              • Women are more likely to prioritize advisory services
                                                                • Figure 17: Factors behind choice of investment company by gender, 2021
                                                            • Switches in the Past Year

                                                              • Mass affluent consumers are largely entrenched in their existing financial services relationships
                                                                • Figure 18: Switched providers in the past year, 2021
                                                              • The mass affluent are less likely to switch providers than consumers with fewer household investable assets
                                                                • Figure 19: Switched providers in the past year by household investable assets, 2021
                                                              • Men are more likely to swap providers than women
                                                                • Figure 20: Switched providers in the past year by gender, 2021
                                                            • Changes in Financial Attitudes Following Vaccines

                                                              • Financial attitudes of the mass affluent remain mostly unaffected by the availability of COVID-19 vaccines
                                                                • Figure 21: Post-vaccine attitude changes, 2021
                                                              • Young consumers’ attitudes were more responsive to vaccine rollouts
                                                                • Figure 22: Post-vaccine attitude changes by age, 2021
                                                            • Digital Behaviors

                                                              • Mass affluent consumers are not reliant on digital capabilities
                                                                • Figure 23: Digital behaviors and attitudes, 2021
                                                              • Young consumers are more likely to interact with digital features, but require more to change banks
                                                                • Figure 24: Digital behaviors and attitudes by age, 2021
                                                            • Attitudes toward Personal Finances

                                                              • Mass affluent consumers are confident in finances, but do not feel defined by them
                                                                • Figure 25: Attitudes toward personal finances, 2021
                                                              • Midwestern consumers trust financial advisors
                                                                • Figure 26: Attitudes toward personal finances by region, 2021
                                                              • Younger consumers are more driven to achieve further wealth
                                                                • Figure 27: Attitudes toward personal finances by age, 2021
                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                              • Data sources
                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                  • Marketing creative
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Terms

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