How Financial Advisors Can Attract Younger Clients from the Millennial Generation
Millennials are being recruited by almost every type of business. As a financial advisor, you should follow suit and actively seek out younger clients in order to grow your practice by taking advantage of a demographic group who is largely not seeking out professional financial advice but could most definitely benefit from it.
Who are the Millennials?
The Millennials, who are also known as the Millennial Generation, Generation Y, and sometimes derogatively called Generation Me or the Selfie Generation, are a demographic group that falls in between Generation X and Generation Z. There are no precise, fixed dates for establishing the starting and ending points for the Millennial Generation, but most people typically use the early 1980s for the beginning birth years and the early 2000s for the ending birth years for inclusion within the Millennial Generation. Some demographers have set more precise dates for the Millennial Generation; for example, the Pew Research Center has specifically delineated the Millennial Generation as people who were ages 18-34 in 2015. In an April 2016 Pew Research Center article, which used research gleaned from the recently released U.S. Census population estimates, the Pew Research Center stated that Millennials (who currently number at 75.4 million) have now surpassed the Baby Boomers as this country’s largest living generation.
Why do financial advisors need to focus on attracting Millennials as new clients?
In the hypercompetitive financial planning industry, an independent financial advisor reaps what he or she sows. As such, as a financial advisor, you must constantly be focused on growing your client base in order to get a leg up on your competition and reach your practice’s most profitable growth potential. However, most financial advisors don’t actively prospect for new clients from the Millennial Generation. This is could be a costly mistake as Millennials are set to be financial advisors’ big clients of the future. Millennials currently make up the country’s largest generation ever and have recently become the largest segment of the labor force. Also, they are at a point in their lives where they are both starting families and building their careers. Additionally, “Millennials stand to inherit $30 trillion as part of the great transfer of wealth in the next three decades.” However, just 29 percent of Millennials have sought out advice from a financial advisor or planner.
Keys to attracting Millennials as new clients
- Get the word out. According to a September 2015 survey by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) and the Center for Generational Kinetics, only 38 percent of Millennials say they know exactly what a financial advisor  Accordingly, in order to recruit Millennials as new clients, financial advisors must make Millennials aware of what exactly they do and how they can specifically help them.
- Educate Millennials about the realities of financial planning and retirement planning. Contrary to popular belief, Millennials are thinking about retirement, but tend to suffer from a “retirement reality gap”, which is the gap between the perceived financial resources that Millennials think they’ll need to retire and the actual financial resources that retirement requires. But the good news is that the findings of the above referenced IRI survey “seem to indicate that Millennials are open to working with financial advisors. In fact, a majority of Millennials surveyed (62%) would like to be walked through every step of the retirement planning process, but that high need for help is not followed by action.” In an effort to recruit Millennials, a financial advisor may want to consider hosting free financial education seminars geared toward the Millennial Generation that explain what financial advisors do and how they can specifically help them. Your workshops should include information and how-to-advice for people who have never saved or invested money before, discuss the actual financial resources that are required to comfortably retire, and explain that planning for and being able to retire is dramatically easier when you start early.
- Know what Millennials are looking for in a potential financial advisor. Pursuant to the IRI survey, “A vast majority of Millennials (88%) rated fee transparency as an important component to working with a financial advisor. A close second was a financial advisor’s being highly rated (87%), and the third most important consideration was the financial advisor’s being a college graduate (80%).” To learn more about the importance of fee transparency for financial advisors, check the previously published Summit blog entitled “Gain Trust and Avoid Conflict: The Importance of Fee Transparency for Financial Advisors.”
- Step up your tech game: Pursuant to the 2014 Fidelity Advisor Insights Study, financial advisors who engaged in more technology than their peers had almost 40 percent more assets under management and attracted a larger number of younger clients. If you want to recruit and retain younger clients, make sure your website is mobile-friendly as the majority of Millennials are spending increasingly less time on their laptops and desktops and more time accessing Internet from their smartphones and tablets. Millennials both want and expect to be able to interact with their financial advisor via their mobile technology devices. Financial advisors looking to attract younger clients should also develop and make available client portals with the same remote, mobile usability and visual appeal of the client portals used by popular robo-advisor websites. Clients, especially young clients, want instant and remote access to more robust analytics and reporting about their accounts. Your client portals should allow users to obtain information about their accounts without having to call or make an appointment with their financial advisor.
Summit Brokerage is a recognized leader in providing next generation technology and empowering its independent financial advisors to enhance client services offerings and reach their practice’s growth potential by offering seamlessly integrated best of breed applications and marketing themselves to a variety of potential clients including but not limited to the Millennial Generation. For more information on Summit Brokerage Services and our independent financial advisors, visit https://www.summitbrokerage.com or call us at (800) 354-5528.
About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit www.ceterafinancialgroup.com.
*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, The Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services.