If you’re a finance expert and are considering starting your own financial services business, you will need to take great care in defining precisely who your target market is and who is not.

The target market for financial services can be quite broad and can range from young adults just starting out in the workforce to retirees looking to invest their life savings for a comfortable retirement.

If you know exactly who you plan to target you can develop products and services tailored to the needs of your ideal customer. And you can design and execute marketing campaigns and communication messages that resonate with your target audience.

In this article, we will review the different types of customers who constitute the target market for financial services, and we’ll look at the factors that influence their decision when they select one financial advisory firm over another. 

Who is the Target Market for Financial Services?

The target market for financial services can be segmented based on the reasons why people and organizations turn to financial experts for advice.

This gives us the following key segments of this market:

  1. People just starting their careers
  2. Young couples with small children
  3. Middle-aged people with grown children
  4. People nearing retirement
  5. Retirees
  6. People looking for wealth management

Each of these segments has different needs when it comes to financial services. For example, young couples just starting out may need help with budgeting and saving for a down payment on a home, while retirees may be more interested in products that generate income during retirement.

So, let’s look at the needs of each of these segments more closely.

1. People just starting their careers

People who are just starting their careers and have just begun earning real money may not think they need financial services. But this is exactly the time when they can benefit from it the most. At this stage in their careers, they are usually saddled with student loans and other debts, and they may not have any savings.

So, this is a critical time for them to start building good financial habits, such as budgeting, saving, and investing. And a financial advisor can help them do just that.

To attract this segment of the target market for financial services you will need to offer products and services that are geared towards young adults. This can include budgeting help, student loan counseling, and advice on how to start saving for retirement.

2. Young couples with small children

This segment of the target market for financial services includes those who have just started a family. Before having children the couple may have had the luxury of two salaries and no expenditure on kids. But once the little ones are born and start growing, everything changes.

The couple’s priorities shift from saving for vacations and nights out on the town to saving for their children’s education and their own retirement. They start the balancing act of growing their careers and raising small children which often leaves no time to think about finances.

It is at this stage that many young couples start experiencing financial difficulties making ends meet. And this is where a financial advisor can help.

To reach this target market you will need to offer products and services that address the needs of young families. This includes budgeting help, advice on how to save for education and retirement, investment planning, and picking the right life insurance policy.

3. Middle-aged people with grown children

As the children get older and leave home, the financial needs of middle-aged people start to change. They may find themselves with more disposable income, and they may start thinking about retirement.

They are able to invest money more easily and have an appetite for risk with their investments, in the hopes of generating higher returns. They also starting to think about estate planning and making sure that their assets are protected.

To reach this target market for financial services you will need to offer products and services that address the needs of middle-aged people. This can include investment planning, estate planning, and wealth management.

4. People nearing retirement

As people near retirement, their priorities change once again. They may start thinking about downsizing their homes, generating income during retirement, and leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren.

They are also more interested in preserving their capital, as they do not have the time to make up for any losses. At this stage, many people gradually start moving their investments from riskier assets like stocks to relatively safer alternatives like bonds or mutual funds.

To reach this target market you will need to offer products and services that address the needs of people nearing retirement, like income planning, estate planning, and asset protection.

5. Retirees

Once people are retired, their primary focus becomes generating regular and reliable income and preserving their capital. Healthcare also becomes a factor in financial planning. For instance, if they haven’t done so already, they may start planning for long-term care expenses.

To reach this target market for financial services, you will need to offer products and services related to asset protection, long-term care planning and inheritance planning.

6. People looking for wealth management

Independent of all the above segments is the segment of people with large amounts of investable assets who are looking for wealth management services.

Those in this market are interested in preserving and growing their wealth and optimizing taxes and need complex financial structures to achieve their goals. They may also have a need for estate planning and philanthropic giving.

To reach this target market for financial services you will need to offer comprehensive wealth management services, including investment management, financial planning, and tax advice.

Note that people looking for wealth management could overlap with any of the segments listed previously. For instance, a young couple with small children earning high salaries could also be targets for wealth management services.

How do Customers select a Financial Services firm?

When selecting someone or a firm to help them out, different segments of the target market for financial services are influenced by different factors.

The most important of these factors are:

  1. Services offered
  2. Reputation
  3. Fees
  4. Track record
  5. The Financial Advisor

1. Services Offered

When someone starts looking for financial services, they are usually looking for something specific like investment advice or real estate planning or help with retirement planning, etc.

And so they are almost certainly going to reject a firm that doesn’t offer the services they are looking for. For example, a middle-aged couple looking for investment advice or wealth management services, would probably not consider a firm that only offered tax preparation or insurance products.

So be clear about the type of financial services you offer and what you do not offer. This will save you time and also help you develop more targeted marketing strategies.

2. Reputation

In finance, as in many other fields, reputation is everything. People want to work with a firm that has a good reputation and is known for being trustworthy. This is especially important as people are entrusting their life savings to you.

And reputation takes a long time to build. So if you are just starting out, you may want to consider partnering with a firm that already has an established reputation.

Or you may wish to get certifications that can lend you credibility and help build trust with potential clients. Once you start building your business and get a few first clients, ask them for testimonials that you can use on your website or other marketing materials.

3. Fees

Different target markets are willing to pay different fees for financial services. For example, people looking for wealth management services are usually willing to pay higher fees than someone who just needs help with their taxes.

When it comes to financial services, it is important to remember that people are often willing to pay for peace of mind. People are also willing to pay more if it means they will earn more, for instance through better investment decisions.

So if you can show your target audience that you can get them a better return on their investment and therefore get your fees paid through the customer’s profits, they are more likely to accept higher fees for your services.

4. Track record

When choosing a financial services firm, people want to see that the firm has a good track record. They want to know that the firm has successfully helped other people just like them achieve their financial goals.

One way to show potential clients your firm’s track record is by sharing case studies or success stories on your website or in other marketing materials. You can also highlight any awards or recognition your firm has received.

You could also consider holding seminars or breakfast briefings where you invite potential clients to learn more about what your firm does and how you have helped other clients achieve success.

5. The Financial Advisor

In many cases, customers will choose a firm based on the individual financial advisor they work with.

People want to work with someone they can trust and who they feel understands their needs. So it is important to build relationships with potential clients and show them that you are someone they can trust.

You can do this by being active in your community, being involved in industry groups or associations, and participating in networking events. You can also stay in touch with past clients and referrers to keep yourself top of mind.

You can also build trust by being transparent and honest with potential clients about your fees, services, and track record. And always follow through on what you say you will do.

If you can show potential clients that you are someone they can trust, they are more likely to do business with you and recommend you to others.


The target market for financial services includes people in different stages of their adult lives from the time they get their first job till they retire. As people progress through their careers and their lives, what they need from financial services changes.

For example, when people are just starting out in their careers, they may need help with budgeting and saving for major life goals like buying a home or having a family.

As people get closer to retirement, they may need help with estate planning and figuring out how to best use their savings to support themselves during retirement.

By understanding the needs of different target markets, you can better tailor your products and services to meet these needs.

When selecting a financial firm, people look for different things including the services offered, the firm’s reputation, the fees charged, the firm’s track record, and the individual financial advisor.

If you’re starting out as a financial advisor, make sure you understand who your target market is and who isn’t. This way you can develop products and services that are precisely tailored to the needs and the decision processes of your target market.