With each generation comes a new attitude toward investing and, for many, greater worries about their financial futures and how their retirements will be funded. Recent events have only heightened anxieties for many.
Millennials have been subjected to a variety of negative commentaries and stereotypes in recent years regarding their attitudes toward finances and investing, but there’s conflicting opinions on how well they’re preparing for the future.
Millennials’ Approach to Investing
The majority of Millennials (63%) believe they’ll live longer than their parents. However, their financial preparedness for that possibility is likely woefully inadequate. About half of Millennials say they’re not saving as much as they should for retirement and feel unprepared, and only 42% expect Social Security to be a reliable source of income.1
Meanwhile, a growing number of Millennial investors are trying to take advantage of undervalued equities resulting from the recent downturn and are buying up stocks, potentially indicating efforts to make up for lost ground.2
Regardless of the approach Millennials take with their financial futures, the underlying motivations often remain the same: worry and fear. Even though a growing number of Millennials are investing, many are concerned about the uncertain implications of taxes, fees, extended longevity and volatility. Many are also watching their parents work well into their golden years and are now seeking ways to avoid the same scenario.
Millennials Rely on Advisors for Guidance in Different Ways
Advisors who are strategizing ways to attract a younger generation of clients or seeking to connect with the family members of existing clients, must contend with the wide range of worries and attitudes toward retirement. They must also contend with the ways in which Millennials want to work with them.
While some younger generations are opting for online investment platforms, others understand the value of an advisor vs. robo-advisors and want advice and education to get on the right track. When a decision is high-investment, has lengthy consequences or presents a sizable knowledge gap, there’s a greater likelihood that people will want to lean on an expert. As a result, many younger investors may place a greater value on advisors to help them achieve their life goals.
The ways Millennials want to work with advisors differ from their parents, however. Here are some tips for engaging, connecting and strengthening your relationships with them.
1. Go Beyond the Brochure
It’s been said that younger generations seek an experience. Many of today’s investors aren’t content with glossy brochures, pie charts and colorful graphs being slid across a desk after the first few minutes of introductions. In all areas of life, from careers and personal relationships to social platforms and networking, Millennials seek connection, collaboration and trust. It’s what they value — don’t we all? — and they no doubt value the same virtues when it comes to their financial advisors.
Connecting with this generation takes more than an extended chit chat at the start of a meeting; the hard part is getting them to that meeting in the first place. It’s beneficial for financial advisors to understand the nuances of engaging with younger generations if they expect to retain existing client assets that will most often be left to their children and heirs. Doing so requires adapting traditional business models and connecting with younger clients on their terms, including leveraging artificial intelligence and virtual visits through video chat.
2. Clear Away the Confusion
Increasingly, investors want interactive online experiences and online account management. They want to have the ability to do their own research on recommendations prior to making a decision.
The overload of conflicting information found through online searches can cause some people to feel overwhelmed, however, leading them to avoid making decisions for fear of making a mistake. It’s the advisor’s role to clear away the confusion, tune out the excess noise and provide straightforward answers and guidance to reassure young investors.
3. Get Social
Advisors should also consider their presence on social media channels where they can demonstrate their thought leadership, share articles and bits of advice, and be accessible via private message. Meeting investors on their terms may mean foregoing the typical phone call and reaching out via text or online chat instead.
Social media is also a way for advisors to build trust by sharing relevant articles, personal insights or photos, and showing their human sides through volunteer work in the community, family time, interactions with colleagues and more.
4. Leverage Referrals
Advisors also need to understand the power of connection as it relates to building their client bases. While referrals have always been an important part of garnering new clientele, it’s even more critical among younger generations. Millennials typically place greater trust in the opinions and recommendations of their peers, and advisors shouldn’t hesitate to ask for referrals and leverage the extended networks of their younger clients.
Appealing to younger investors requires a shift in how advisors have attracted clients in the past as well as a focus on managing personal fulfillment as much as personal finances.
Learn more about what drives the Millennial generation and how to engage and provide guidance for this group of investors in our guide, 3 Myths About Millennials and the Truth Behind Them. Click the button below for your copy.
1CNBC.com, Here’s where younger generations expect their retirement income to come from, January 27, 2020
2CNBC.com, Millennials are piling into stock trading to beat the market. Here’s what you need to know, April 27, 2020