Bit of an odd "dog bites man" white paper making the rounds that indicates that yes, the Baby Boomers are retiring and looking for income solutions. Let's see what we can get out of it.
Two consulting firms, GDC Research and Practical Perspectives, put their heads together and discovered that advisors are leaning on their wholesalers -- and relying increasingly on ETFs and annuity products -- to deliver income to their aging Boomer clients.
The paper itself has yet to be posted to either company's site or to RIIA.org, where their previous research in this area has been made available for four-digit sums.
Maybe I'm missing something, but after years of hype that the Boomers are moving out of the accumulation phase, it's going to take a lot more than confirmation of the trend to justify that kind of price tag.
As reported, arguably the most interesting thing here is the notion that advisors who promote themselves as retirement income specialists can capture the entirety of their clients' investable assets, and not just a piece of the pie.
If specialists start marketing retirement as a proposition where people "age out" of an RIA or broker relationship, then yes, it's possible to get the client to cash out of existing accounts and transfer the money in a lump sum for the retirement specialist to manage.
But even here, the question is whether it's worth it to established advisors to create that kind of adversarial proposition between their current business and the emerging world of Boomer income. Seems that it would be more effective to just add income-oriented materials to an existing marketing plan and cater to both markets -- just as they do now.
The real competition here may be between established advisors and newcomers looking for a quick way to amass AUM.