9 Random Stats Cherry-Picked Just For You

The last few weeks have seen the release of some fascinating and free research and work. I cracked open the reports to pull out the following nine numbers that made an impression on me and might on you.


Financial advisors say they’re working with about one additional mutual fund provider in 2012—10.8 versus 9.9 in 2011—and that they’re concentrating fewer assets with their top three providers.

This is just one of many insights offered in “A Fresh Look at Advisor Loyalty” from Cogent Research. The report, which you can download, also analyzes aspects of the product and service experience that are most likely to drive advisor loyalty across three types of products: mutual funds, ETFs and annuities.


While we're on the subject, 65% of investors worldwide are not particularly loyal to their primary investment provider, according to the must-read "The Influential Investor, How Investor Behavior is Redefining Performance" published by The Center for Applied Research (CAR). CAR is an independent think tank that resides at State Street.

Before we all get our feelings hurt, though, consider this: Only 33% of institutional and retail investors believe that their primary investment provider is acting in their best interest. What's to be loyal to?


That’s how many data points are included in a new “game-changing” Invesco iPad app for advisors seeking to benchmark and analyze retirement plans. In providing and presenting data from PlanSponsor's annual DC survey for more than 40 industries and five plan sizes, the PlanAnalyzer app improves upon a previously labor-intensive process, according to this report from PLANADVISER.

In the early days, asset manager iPad apps did little more than re-package Website information. More and more now, apps are being tapped to do one discrete thing and in a way not available using any other device.


It was the beginning of the end last year when Google decided to encrypt the search terms used by Web browsers who were signed into Google. The result after one year: An average 39% of the terms that signed-in users search for are reported as “not provided” by Google in analytics programs.

This report on Search Engine Land will give you study highlights or go directly to Optify, the author of the study, to download the full PDF. Eventually, Optify predicts, data on organic search terms will disappear altogether so make the most of your referrer data while you can.


When financial advisors make a recommendation, how many of their clients take action? Eight of 10 investors do, according to a Blackrock Investor Watch™ survey finding reported last week.


…Or maybe it’s just one-third. That’s the much smaller number of Americans “consistently taking action after receiving financial advice” reported by TIAA-CREF in late October. Especially poignant: 74% of those surveyed said they don’t know which sources they can trust for financial advice. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.


Two is the number of organizations that this week announced efforts to help advisors evaluate their technology choices.

Investment News launched an independent adviser technology study that will benchmark advisory firms' technology investments and usages against similar and top-performing firms. Schwab announced its plans to launch a review site featuring ratings and advisor feedback on popular technology providers.

Think technology is a pain point for advisors?


The median retirement account balance of Baby Boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—rose 33% to $99,320 in 2012, according to The Annual TransAmerica Retirement study released yesterday. Last week Fidelity announced that the average 401(k) balance was up 18% in the last year.

There’s a lot of negativity going on out there in some of the characterizations about investors and their “train wreck” portfolios. The tough love approach is intended to prod investors away from their fixed income safe havens and to return to equities in advance of inevitably higher interest rates. But these rising balances suggest that workplace investors deserve kudos for doing something right.


Most of the work referred to above will have a shelf life of at least a few months, but this number may not survive the week. With so much fiscal cliff-related content being produced by asset managers and others, I wondered which firms were paying to rank for the term on Google.

As of this writing Wednesday night, the answer was none, 0, goose eggs. This is surprising, given the surge in interest in the term as shown by this Google Trends graph.

Today “fiscal cliff” is attractively priced. Google’s Traffic Estimator said the term would cost an average price per click of $0.33. An advertiser could expect 665 clicks on 18,186 impressions.