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For B2C Marketing Professionals

Why US Investors Behave The Way They Do

Segmenting US Investors, 2015

April 10, 2015

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  • By Bill Doyle
  • with Luca S. Paderni,
  • Audrey Blumstein

Why Read This Report

This report, originally written for eBusiness and channel strategy professionals, includes content relevant to your role. Here's why: US investors comprise half of all online US adults — a vast market with a great diversity of needs, motivations, and behaviors. To succeed with these investors, B2C marketing professionals need to reduce this diversity by dividing investors into targetable groups with similar characteristics. Edward Jones, for example, prospers by targeting conservative, long-term investors who want to work with a hometown advisor; startup digital investment manager Wealthfront is in hypergrowth, thanks to an obsessive focus on Millennials who want to delegate investment decisions. The trick with segmentation is finding variables that can help you understand and influence the prospects and clients you value most. Personal wealth, for example, is an important variable — but it's not a strong predictor of many investment behaviors. What is? An attitude-based variable such as investors' self-directedness. By combining self-directedness and investable assets, our segmentation yields nine discrete groups. Marketers can use the segments to understand investors' motivations and influence their choices of products, channels, and firms.

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