If you’re not already working with Millennials, born 1980-2000, you should plan on working with them in the near future. Millennials are set to inherit over 30+ trillion in wealth from the Baby Boomers in coming years. Now is the time to develop a strategy to attract and retain Gen Y clients. But before developing your strategy, it helps to know as much as possible about this emerging group of young professionals! Checkout ten things you should know about Millennials:
1. They have unique financial concerns.
Unlike older generations, many Millennials are entering their careers having already accumulated large amounts of debt in the form of student loans. The traditional own-a-home model may also not appeal to Millennials, many of whom prefer the flexibility of renting over the commitment of ownership. Millennials may also be concerned about saving for their children’s college education. It’s important to keep these unique financial concerns in mind when approaching financial planning/goal setting with a Gen Y client.
2. They value financial freedom over all other financial goals.
Unlike generations before, most Millennials don’t consider retirement their most important financial goal. Instead, they consider financial freedom to be most important. They want to be able to use their money to travel, fund a business, or achieve other dreams. While they do understand retirement is important, they would prefer to live their dreams in their 30s rather than waiting until they’re 60. Instead of pitching your ability to help clients retire comfortably, focus on your ability to help them live the life they want to live!
3. They prefer to take a more hands-on approach when it comes to their finances.
Unlike previous generations, Millennials don’t see a financial advisor as someone to hand-off the responsibility of asset management to. Instead, they prefer to play a more active role in the management of their finances. They enjoy being involved in all stages of the financial planning process and see their advisor as a partner who they can collaborate with to meet financial goals.
4. They don’t trust the financial industry.
Millennials were the generation that grew up watching their parents experience the Great Recession. Having witnessed financial hardship, massive lay-offs, and corruption among the banking industries, many Millennials are skeptical of the financial industry.
5. They want complete transparency about fees and financial products.
Due to Millennial’s distrust of the financial sector, they expect complete, upfront transparency from their financial advisor. Millennials want to know what they’re paying for, and why. So expect to be clear about the fees you charge. Gen Y grew up in the era which is used to paying for monthly gym memberships, music subscription fees, etc. So often a standard monthly fee works best for Millennial clients.
6. They enjoy using technology to help manage their money.
Being the tech-savvy generation, it’s no surprise that Millennials like to use technology to help them manage their finances. Millennials will appreciate financial planning software, a client portal, or any other client-facing technology you use.
7. They prefer virtual meetings over in-person meetings.
Many Millennials are balancing hectic schedules which leave them without much time for extra meetings. Virtual meetings are a more convenient option. Whether it’s through Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts, Millennials will appreciate your flexibility if you’re willing to meet virtually.
8. They do more research before picking an advisor.
According to a national survey of over 1,200 investors, Millennials do the most research before picking an advisor. Because Millennials are open to working with an advisor digitally, they can consider thousands of advisors from across the country and find one who best meets their financial needs.
9. They want to find solutions themselves.
Millennials are inquisitive and enjoy learning new information to draw their own conclusions from. Rather than speaking in definitives, telling clients “you should do xyz,” provide Millennials with the information they need to make an informed decision on their own accord.
10. They prefer simpler financial products.
Millennials prefer to use simple financial products they can easily understand. Millennials often prefer a Roth IRA over complex annuities. They may also be more inclined to use term life insurance instead of whole life insurance. They want to ensure they completely understand the products they’re using, and they want to cut any unnecessary complexity out of their lives.