Taking on the Millennial Mindset
November 28, 2018
The rumors are true. I can’t hide it any more. I have to admit it: I am a millennial.
I have looked up from my smart phone to let you know that you could be missing out on profitability from nearly a quarter of the US population.1
The millennial generation is more than just the generation who “does it all for the ’gram.” Instagram that is.
- comprise nearly two-fifths of the working age population2
- hold more degrees and credentials for high-paying jobs than any generation in history
- will spend $1.4 trillion annually by 2020.3
That being said, this highly educated cohort, backed by its spending power, will play a key part in the future of financial planning. We can help generate positive revenue in the short run and act as an investment in the future of your business.
Positioning your practice to attract millennials may sound daunting, but focusing on new topics such as technology, student loans, or employee benefits could help differentiate you from other advisors. The millennial generation is looking for advisors to:
- focus on immediate needs
- tailor their approach
- get more digital.
When it comes to focusing on immediate needs, helping millennial clients budget and manage their cash flow is imperative. As young professionals, millennials look for flexibility in spending as they juggle expenses such as student loans, rent, and retirement savings. Taking on the challenge to provide budgeting guidance can help build their trust in you as an advisor and help change their perspective of investing. We are a risk-averse generation, having witnessed the dot-com era and post-9/11 market. I remember feeling this risk aversion personally when I chose my first 401(k) option. Despite the timeframe ahead of me, I was not convinced that anything but a conservative risk-based model suited me. A rebuilding of trust in the stock market is necessary for this generation.
Second, tailoring your approach to guiding millennials in financial concepts through collaboration will help them feel comfortable in building relationships. Collaborative learning allows millennials to share their thoughts and ideas and ask questions. This approach is similar to the way millennials interact on social media. We are proud of our views and opinions and will always take the opportunity to express ourselves. Whether it is through a tweet or in conversation with a financial advisor, sharing our ideas is paramount.
Third, becoming more digital will attract the millennial generation. Technology is what they know best. Millennials will appreciate being able to access their financial plan information as effortlessly as they do for their other interests. Consider communicating through email regularly to help millennial clients feel connected. Discuss the use of banking or finance apps, (my personal favorites, include Splitwise and Mint), to help incorporate simple financial tasks in their day-to-day life.
From this, it should be clear that millennials are a different generation; we have set ourselves apart when it comes to our education, entrepreneurial spirit, and spending power. The same can be said for us when it comes to financial planning and investing. Although millennials may require a different approach, it doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for help and as an advisor, you should start to see this cohort as an investment in the future of your business. And a growing practice is a beautiful thing...no Instagram filter needed!
1, 2. The Millennial Generation: A demographic bridge to America’s diverse future, Brookings, January 2018
3. Who are the millennial shoppers? And what do they really want? Accenture 2018.
The information provided is not intended to be a forecast or guarantee of future events or results.
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The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Macquarie Investment Management (MIM), or any of its employees.
For educational purposes and for investment professional use only. Not for use with the general public.
For investment professional use only. Not for distribution to the general public. Investment professionals should consult their compliance departments before accessing any social media networks for a business purpose. This content is for educational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any app, service, or publicly traded company.