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There ARE Regional Differences in Investors

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Written by: Catherine McBreen | Spectrem Group

The people who travel from airport to airport or drive the nation but stay on the Interstate are likely to think the entire country is just one big place, with no differences from one region to the next.

Yes, there are geographical differences, because some places have mountains and some are flat. But all places have fast-food restaurants and all places have familiar coffee shops and you can buy the same exact items in a store in Poughkeepsie as you can in Pomona.

But a closer examination of the people of the United States will show that there are differences in many aspects of life based on where you are raised and where you live. And those differences can sometimes show up in unexpected ways, like when discussing financial matters.

Spectrem’s new study Regional Impact on Investors examines how investors differ based on where they live. Advisors who work in specific regions of the country or providers which have regional offices will be able to use the research to better cater to investors in specific portions of the country.

The study examines how much money wealthy investors have to invest, how they invest that money, and how they use financial advisors to assist them in the process. It also examines some of the pressures investors from different regions experience, from family matters to national concerns.

Related: Are Advisors In The Northeast Smarter?

It is not an all-or-nothing proposition among investors from different regions; it is a matter of percentages. Here are some of the cases where there was marked difference between percentages of investors based on their regional location:

  • Investors from the Mountain West (the northern states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, and down to the Texas-New Mexico-Arizona block) are the least likely to participate in employer sponsored defined contribution plans (56 percent), while investors from the Northeast (from Maine down to New Jersey and Pennsylvania) are most likely to do so (67 percent). This difference may be due to a difference in established firms with long-standing employee benefit programs.
  • Twenty-seven percent of investors from the Northeast have a second or vacation home, compared to only 19 percent of Midwestern investors (the Dakotas east to Ohio and south to Missouri). This may be the case of old family money or inherited residences for those Northeast investors.
  • Twenty percent of Pacific Coast investors (the coastal states plus Hawaii and Alaska) own residential rental property compared to only 10 percent of Midwest investors. Pacific Coast investors also have the most money invested in real estate products or properties.
  • Investors from the South (the Virginias down to Florida and west to Arkansas and Louisiana) are the most likely to be optimistic about their financial present and their financial future.

A deeper look at the regional differences among investors can be found at Regional Impact on Investors.

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