Affluent Asians, who constitute five percent of the total affluent market in the United States, are not looking at retirement as a primary goal of investing, according to research from TNS Financial Services. Part of the reason is because many are younger entrepreneurs, so their needs are not aligned as much with the traditional affluent market.

"They’re younger, they’e working, and many are starting businesses," said Jeanette Luhr, Vice President of TNS. "Their needs closely resemble those of all entrepreneurs and small businesses owners - primarily because many are."

Also, Asians tend to shirk full-service brokers, instead leaning towards fee-based planners. Fully 30% of Asians rely on fee-based planners for advice, whereas only 8% use full-service brokers.

Most, 89%, prefer independent advisers, and even more, 92%, opt to pay fees rather than commissions. Furthermore, more than twice as many Asians use their primary adviser for investment decisions; 82% of Asians do, while only 36% of Caucasians do so.

Asians prefer to think of their advisers as counselors rather than simple providers of information. Because of this relationship and the value that Asians perceive in the provision of advice, this market represents an opportunity for fee-based planners.

"To meet the needs of this segment, companies or advisors could provide a fee-based service where one knowledgeable client-contact advisor coordinates the activities of various specialists," Luhr said. "Barring that, advisors have to promote their expertise in helping with cash flow -- making this aspect of their clients' lives easier, rather than making it a second job."

The Asian market is a growing one, and doubled the growth of the Caucasian market between 2000 and 2003.

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