As the number of millennials in influential roles in the workforce rises, more and more members of this unique demographic are looking to invest their money. Although different from previous generations in their expectations for their careers – and life in general – millennials need financial advice to make the best investment moves, just like everybody else.
“During our recent scholarship program, we found that the majority of participants (who were all aged 18 – 22) were risk tolerant and rational decision makers,” explains Carol Lynde, President & COO, Bridgehouse Asset Managers
. “And that type of client, who has a long-term horizon, is an ideal client for financial advisors.”
Given that the average age of Canadian advisors is 48, many will be forced to seriously consider how they’re going to effectively connect with millennial clients. Millennials think differently and communicate differently, and by different means, so an experienced advisor should not expect their traditional methods to achieve the same success with this group.
Lynde believes that older advisors should consider employing a millennial associate in order to help them connect with younger clients. “This particular generation is known to be entrepreneurial, collaborative and ambitious and those are excellent characteristics for an advisor to have,” she says.
Research shows that the millennial generation do value advice, but that they’re more likely to conduct their own research and compare findings with their peers before they make any final decisions. “As a financial advisor, you really have to provide millennials with a range of options and then let them make that final decision, but you should guide them through that decision making process,” Lynde says.
“They want to be collaborative but also independent. They want clarity in terms of their needs and wants and they want to build trust with someone that understands them. Advisors need to be different in the way they deal with this particular cohort.”
The clarity that millennials demand also relates to the money they’re paying for advice. Advisors should be providing a clear breakdown of the value they’re providing for the fee they’re receiving. With the rise of this demographic coinciding with the implementation of CRM2, advisors who adapt properly will be in a better position to meet new requirements and attract a new set of affluent, aspirational clients. “Millennials want to make sure they’re getting the best bang for their buck; this group values honesty and transparency, and with CRM2 the timing is excellent,” Lynde says.
Although many advisors are aware they need to adapt their approach to attract and retain millennial clients, many are reluctant to change their ways. “You have to communicate in the way they want to communicate,” Lynde says. “This group values advice and they need it; especially with understanding and moderating all of the sensational information that is published by the mass media.”
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