A Further Look: Our Future: Right-serving the Rising Affluent Client

By David Root, Founder and CEO

Today, the financial services industry faces a long list of challenges requiring new and innovative answers to serving the needs of clients. The introduction of new technology, increasing regulation, and changing customer expectations are converging to make this a challenging time for those unwilling to adjust.

As change accelerates and financial products become more and more commoditized, providing better service is the true differentiator between firms. At D.B. Root & Company, we are doing this by segmenting our core clients, those we refer to as the rising affluent, into distinct categories accompanied by their own customized service model and dedicated service teams.

Rising affluent are individuals who have accumulated assets and are facing complex life questions that are becoming increasingly more difficult to address. Our goal in setting up these segments was to arrange our arsenal of products and services in a way that aligns our strengths with client needs.

We are organized to serve three core segments of the rising affluent:

For individuals, we’ve covered individuals ranging from Baby Boomers to Next Gen by offering our DBR Flagship Client Services and DBR Emerging Wealth Programs.

Our third segment, DBR Business Services, serves corporate clients via 401(k)s and company retirement plans. For most people, this is their financial plan. Therefore, it translates well with our financial planning focus and long standing fiduciary responsibilities.

This is the future.

We’ve adopted the transformational spirit of disruptors in other industries. Especially those who have mastered understanding customer preferences and never taking them for granted.

Many industries have gone through a revolutionary stage that transforms the way business is done. Amazon and Apple are recent examples, and long before them there were disruptors in manufacturing (Henry Ford) energy (John D. Rockefeller) and banking (J.P. Morgan).

Today’s environment is greatly influenced by ‘The Amazon effect’ in terms of the customer experience. Consider Amazon Prime, few founders are as passionate about the customer experience as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

For example, he periodically leaves one seat open at the conference table and informs all attendees that they should view that seat as being occupied by their customer, “the most important person in the room.” Bezos is also a fanatic about never becoming complacent. He refers to it as always being in ‘day one.’

So, while our industry has become commoditized in terms of products, and influenced by fast and easy Robo-Advisors, it’s critical for us to not only match any available technology, but to show the value-added benefits of dealing with professionals. Today, investor optimism about the stock market is at its highest level since 2000 and a recent survey by Charles Schwab* shows that confidence soars when a professional advisor is involved.

In the changing financial services industry, it’s all about right-serving the client. And any company that has attained world-class service has done so with an intense level of customer focus.

What a great time to be a client.

Thanks for reading,


To learn more about D.B. Root’s client segments and service offerings, contact David Root d.rootjr@dbroot.com

As a reminder, many articles, including "A Further Look," contain opinions and observations that can shape or advance a viewpoint. However, when it comes to portfolio management, the challenge is to filter and translate opinions and observations into actionable items and to resist straying off course with, or within, a portfolio. To learn how DB Root’s approach to asset management attempts to meet this challenge for clients, please feel free to contact us: 412-227-2800.

This material has been provided for general, informational purposes only and it not suitable for everyone. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this newsletter will come to pass. Information presented herein is subject to change without notice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security.

*Charles Schwab 2017 401(k) participation survey


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