IRA mailings at their highest since November 2009, reports Mintel Comperemedia

March 16, 2012

Chicago (March 16, 2012) – Each January, Mintel Comperemedia records a significant spike in IRA mailings. This January has proved to be no different, with the exception of one thing – the estimated 5.2 million acquisition mail pieces is at a peak not typically seen post-recession.

“According to Mintel Comperemedia research, investment firms tend to maintain high levels of mail through February, March and sometimes April, which means IRA mailings could reach pre-recession levels,”says Susan Wolfe, vice president of financial services at Mintel Comperemedia.

“Historically, IRA mail has been focused on the benefits of 401K rollover accounts. This year, however, the enticement revolves around cash incentives. And not necessarily in small amounts,”adds Susan Wolfe.

ING offered the lowest cash amount of the January mailers. Its offer was $50 cash for deposits of $500 into a new IRA CD or savings account by January 31st. Charles Schwab and Bank of America also offered cash incentives, but at a much higher price point. Schwab offered $200 – $2,500 for deposit amounts between $50K and $1million, and Bank of America offered customers a cash incentive of between $50 and $500 for depositing $10K-$200K into a Merrill Edge IRA Rollover.

“Investment firms appear to be using incentives with increasing frequency. The trend has been observed in the brokerage category as investment firms attempt to attract affluent investors,”notes Susan Wolfe.”The investment firms are replicating the approach and now extending it to products beyond brokerage accounts. The trick in the future however, will be making the incentive stand out as consumers are offered cash for anything from buying coffee to trying mobile banking apps to making large deposits into investment accounts.”

Even with the weakened economy, people are still focused on saving for retirement. According to a Mintel Oxygen report, Retirement Planning, 44% of consumers have avoided reducing the amount they save for retirement and 22% have increased what they save for retirement. The new strategies of investment firms suggest they are trying to tap into this investing mindset and also remain competitive.

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