Consumers are taking their money and going home - in some cases, literally. Failures and consolidation in the banking industry have sparked jitters among depositors, leaving people to ask themselves: Does it make more sense to stash cash in a mattress than in a bank account? With fewer and fewer options to choose from, it's now up to institutions to convince them otherwise.
With tumbling markets and massive losses, financial advisors are taking a hard look in the mirror - and many don't like what they see. Risk profiles, stochastic models and other tools of the trade have failed the industry miserably, shaking institutional advisories and their investors to the core. As consumers wake up from the shock, many are taking matters into their own hands, and rolling accounts into more cost efficient, effective alternatives. With investors on the run, financial professionals must find new ways to deliver value beyond guessing at future potential returns.
The slumping economy and faltering stock market have caused staggering losses in 401(k) funds, the major source of retirement income for millions of Americans. Recent statistics show that 63 percent of people with retirement accounts have stopped contributing to them completely. In addition, many companies eager to conserve cash have cut matching contributions - meaning that people may have to work more years to retire with less money. With spooked investors and dwindling deposits, plan providers must convince employers that they have more to offer than the latest account balance in a generic retirement package.