Acquisition pattern analysis investigates orders in which households acquire products. Extant empirical studies employ cross-sectional data, providing limited insight into acquisition orders and no insight into timing of product acquisitions. We use an extensive longitudinal database for studying acquisition patterns in the financial product market, in particular financial assets. We find support for a common order of acquisition, reflecting risk levels of the financial products, and provide insight into the timing for acquiring products. We show developments of product portfolios are strongly related to the lifecycle stage of the household, income and household assets. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.