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Financial Behavior of the VALS™ Segments April 2004

About This Report

The retail financial-services industry is rapidly changing. Financial institutions have had to adjust according to changing regulations and economic conditions. Merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activity has changed the industry landscape, with important implications for customer relationships and brand perceptions. The dot-com bust and the end of the late-1990s' economic boom left savvy investors reeling and left many "average Americans" with only a portion of their previous wealth, wondering how this disaster could have happened. Heavily publicized scandals such as those of Enron and WorldCom have affected the way the public perceives saving, investing, and risk and lowered the level of trust in large corporate institutions. Facing these structural and perceptual challenges, financial institutions may want to reevaluate their approach to acquiring and retaining customers. Moreover, because consumer lifestyles and attitudes are increasingly diverse, successful strategies require precise targeting. Combining information from two SRI Consulting Business Intelligence programs—VALS™ and Consumer Financial Decisions (CFD)—this report provides an overview of the distinctly different financial characteristics and behaviors of the VALS consumer groups.