Advisors: Technology is a must for attracting millennials

While many in the media are suggesting millennials are a perfect fit for robo-advisors, it has less to do with low fees and more to do with technology -- here’s why

There are said to be almost nine million people between the ages of 18 and 34 in Canada, the so-called millennials, and they will rule the economic roost in the coming years as they earn more and invest more.

Full-service advisors have an opportunity to benefit from demographic tidal wave of change but only if they’re able to provide younger investors with the latest in technology, something robo-advisors were specifically created for.

“Millennials, as a generation, differ from other generations in that they are a lot more comfortable with technology,” WealthBar CEO Tea Nicola told the Vancouver Sun recently, “and that is kind of reflected in everything they do.”

As a rule millennials like to do their own research before making a decision about hiring an investment advisor; if you’re not utilizing technology and social media to spread your marketing message you’re not going to make any inroads recruiting younger clients. It’s that simple.

“People are so busy on a day-to-day basis, having that online access is essential,” said Jillian Bryan, a portfolio manager and vice-president with TD Wealth in Vancouver. “This business is about relationships and it’s hard to develop a long, very strong relationship via email.”

In other words the advisor most able to reach the millennial demographic will provide high touch, high tech, service.

“There will be a subset of millennials who will go to robo-advisers,” Bryan said. “(But) long term, TD has cone some (research) and found that large discount accounts eventually go to full-service advisers. As you get older, you need more help as you have more money in the market.”

And it all starts with technology.  

To read the entire Vancouver Sun article click here