Total Trust Market Shrinking

The total number of personal trust accounts has been on a steady decline for 12 years, according to Spectrem Group’s “Comprehensive Bank Trust Update”, with only 432,902 personal trust accounts in 2020.  However, for the third year in a row bank personal trust assets have increased, ending 2020 at an estimated $1.14 trillion.  This asset level still remains below the high achieved in 2007 of $1.15 trillion.

While the number of managed and non-managed personal trust accounts have declined over the past several years, the asset levels have seen significant increases.  This is not surprising however, given how the stock market has performed over the past few years.  Trust providers that are wanting to increase number of accounts and assets would benefit from providing several other services as part of their trust relationship that are important to the wealthiest investors.  When considering various types of services an investor can receive from their advisor, estate planning, wealth transfer guidance, and tax planning are all vital services for investors with a net worth, not including their primary residence, of $25 million or more. 

Knowing how important those services are to investors, it is very revealing that over a quarter of investors with over $25 million in net worth do not receive any of those services but would like to receive the services.  Fifty one percent of $25 million plus investors receive tax planning guidance from their advisor, 57 percent receive wealth transfer advice, and 60 percent receive estate planning advice from their financial advisor.  While the majority of investors are receiving these important services, a significant gap exists among those investors who would like to receive those services from their advisor, but they are not receiving them.

Related: Millennials and Gen X Opposing Views on Wealth