DALBAR Finds Investors Still Use Statements to Review Accounts, Second Only to Online Access

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Although investors have primarily shifted to digital methods, DALBAR’s Investor Insights survey found that 59% still utilize statements to review account data. Online access reigns above all with 88% reporting they view account details via computer or mobile device, but statement use exceeds other financial communications; more than double the 26% that call service centers and dwarfing the 17% that rely on advisors.

With so many still making use of statements it is vital that these documents effectively meet investors’ needs. Prioritizing statement enhancements begins with understanding what is important to investors and DALBAR found that details like advisor contact information, benchmarking data, and asset allocation are far less important than performance, fee summaries and goals-tracking. The value of asset allocation dropped from 2014 when 78% of investors rated it critically important or important. Today, only 66% feel the same.

Performance data continues to be a key focal point and slightly more crucial to those with more invested. 78% of investors consider personal rate of return critically important or important and among those with over $500K in investable assets the number jumps to 91%. Similarly, 76% find individual investment performance critically important or important compared to 88% holding over $500K.

Age plays a role in statement use and preferences. Over 50% of all generations report using statements but only Baby Boomers utilize it as the primary account resource with 47% of individuals 55+ relying on it, 12% more than Boomers who primarily rely on the Internet. However, 44% of Baby Boomers spend less than 10 minutes reviewing statements and 19% admit they don’t review them at all. Baby Boomers’ preferences vary in relation to design elements such as visual aids. Only 44% of Baby Boomers prefer charts and graphs, compared to 67% of all investors, 60% of Gen X and 78% of Gen Y.

DALBAR, the financial community’s leading independent expert, examines investors’ priorities, preferences and behavior relative to their various touchpoints with financial firms in this Investor Insights Series. The first three parts in the series, Online Security, Investors Using Advisors and Account Statements, are now available with the remaining components, Online Access and Paperless Delivery being released quarterly. For more information about DALBAR’s Investor Insights Study, please contact research@dalbar.com.


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