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Part 3: Targeting client niches

Most advisors target clients by wealth range, and they consider those in higher-income segments particularly important

When it comes to prospecting, half of respondents indicate they focus on wealth range as they target prospective clients. However, substantial numbers of respondents indicate they focus their efforts around specific niche populations. Some of the more popular niche targets, such as investors in specific age groups, life cycle situations or careers, could also overlap with historically wealthier populations.

The popularity of segmenting prospective clients by wealth range is likely related to the importance advisors place on attracting wealthier prospects. Respondents rank upper-mass affluent investors with between $500,000 and $1 million in assets as the most important to their business, followed closely by high-net-worth individuals with over $1 million. This focus on wealthier clients may also reflect a desire among advisors to use their resources more efficiently: more than two in three advisors (69%) indicate smaller accounts consume either a similar or higher percentage of time and resources than larger accounts, relative to their profitability. 

Despite the link between client wealth and profits, most advisors prefer to maintain flexibility about who they bring on board. In most cases (54%), respondents say they refer clients who don’t meet their minimum account size requirements to another advisor. Yet only 38% of advisors indicate they maintain a minimum account size for their clients in the first place, and just 12% indicate they enforce that minimum very strictly.