Cogent Reports: Gen X Powering Robo-Advisor Growth

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Generation X investors are the key to future growth in automated investment advice, according to new data from Cogent Reports. In fact, affluent Americans between the ages of 35 and 51 now represent 40% of robo-advisor users, up from 31% over the past year. These and other findings are from Investor Brandscape®, a Cogent Reports™ study released by Market Strategies International.

“While Millennials took the lead with early adoption of automated investment advice, now it’s Gen Xers that robo-advice providers should really focus on as they make up more than one-third (35%) of all affluent investors likely to consider robo-advice,” says Julia Johnston-Ketterer, senior product director at Market Strategies and author of the report. “Gen Xers are not only increasing use of robo-advice, they are driving future development of automated investment advice offerings.”

Importantly, the next wave of robo-adopters differs from the early adopters who were primarily Millennials and willing to invest in lesser-known brands offering an alternative solution for managing investment portfolios. Affluent Gen X investors are less trusting of the financial services industry compared to Millennials. Furthermore, Gen Xers are less likely to seek advice from an investment professional than those in other generations.

“Given that Gen Xers are more skeptical than their Millennial counterparts, likely robo-users in this generation are gravitating toward established brands with proven track records, such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab, more so than emerging providers for automated investment advice,” says Linda York, senior vice president at Market Strategies. “Convincing Gen Xers of the value of financial advice from an objective, third-party source is the nut that robo-advisors, particularly lesser-known brands, need to crack.”

Top 10 Robo-Advisor Firms Affluent Gen X Investors Would Consider

(Among Those Who Are Likely to Adopt Automated Investment Advice)

1. Fidelity Investments

2. Charles Schwab
4. Vanguard
5. Bank of America Merrill Lynch
6. JPMorgan
7. CapitalOne
8. TD Ameritrade
9. Motley Fool Wealth Management
10. Betterment
Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Investor Brandscape®, December 2016.

About the Investor Brandscape® Report

Cogent Reports conducted an online survey with 3,910 affluent investors who were recruited from the ResearchNow and SSI online panels from June to August of 2016. In order to qualify, respondents were required to have at least $100,000 in investable assets and have sole or shared household financial decision-making responsibilities. Due to their opt-in nature, the online panels (like most others) do not yield a random probability sample of the target population. Thus, target quotas and weighting are set around key demographic variables using the most recent data available from the US Census Bureau. As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research consultancy with deep expertise in financial services with practice areas serving wealth, banking, payments and insurance. We blend primary research with data from our syndicated, benchmarking and self-funded studies as well as Big Data to help our clients grow their businesses and brands. Market Strategies’ research specialties include brand, communications, CX, product development and segmentation.

Our syndicated products, known as Cogent Reports, are the wealth sector’s leading source for insight on the attitudes, opinions and behaviors of key investor populations, including advisors, plan sponsors and affluent and institutional investors. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research firms in the world, with offices in the US, Canada and China and additional industry expertise in consumer & retail, energy, healthcare, technology and telecommunications. Read Market Strategies’ blog at FreshMR, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Market Strategies International
Lisa Viselli, 734.779.6851

Release Summary

Generation X investors are the key to future growth in automated investment advice, now representing 40% of robo-advisor users, up from 31% over the past year.


Market Strategies International
Lisa Viselli, 734.779.6851