Understanding Participant Personalities

Helping your participants achieve retirement readiness is challenging. Contributing to the challenge is one size fits all education solutions that fail to distinguish the different skills and different levels of interest your participants have. Most solutions miss the mark because they talk about items that are not of interest to their audience or they talk at a level that is well above or below the audience knowledge level.

To improve the effectiveness of our participant educational services, LAMCO has developed a system for segmenting your participants by their investment personality and their investment acumen. Armed with this information, we are better able to the target subject matter and the education approach to each segment of your participant base.

Participant Personalities

Participant investment personalities can be broken down into three basic categories:

  • Soloists – Soloists want to be in complete control of their decisions. They either have comfort in their own abilities or they rely on a personal advisor to make their decisions for them. These participants are less receptive to how to information and are more interested in raw data and information. They are less likely to attend educational sessions and more likely to value print communications and informational updates.
  • Delegators – Delegators want to be as uninvolved in the process as possible. Either due to a lack of interest or a lack of confidence in their abilities, Delegators want someone to tell them what to do. Delegators are less likely to be interested in investment education. Educational efforts surrounding plan changes and the importance of deferring money are likely to have a greater impact with these participants.
  • Validators – Validators sit in between Soloists and Delegators. They tend to be engaged in the process and want to make their own decisions. They find information helpful but really seek a sounding board to validate their decisions. Heavy Validators tend to behave like Soloists while Light Validators tend to resemble Delegators. Validators value educational sessions and guidance and place the greatest emphasis in one-on-one conversations.

Investment Acumen

Participant investment skill varies greatly and, as a result, generalized presentations rarely have the intended impact. For a majority of the audience, the material is overly simplistic or overly complicated. This quickly alienates the participants. Once alienated, they become very difficult to re-engage in the process. An alternative to the one size fits all approach is to develop a curriculum that can grow with a participant’s knowledge. Participants can choose the correct starting level, based on their initial knowledge, and graduate through the various levels as they become more comfortable.

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