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Where Millennials Find Advisors

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Where Millennials Find Advisors

Written by: Catherine McBreen | Spectrem Group

Social media and sarcastic observers like to play with the concept that Millennials are impossible to communicate or reach because they are not like older, more stable people.

It’s a generalization steeped in tradition. Making fun of younger citizens is what gets older citizens out of bed in the morning.

But Millennials are now a significant portion of the adult population. They range in age from 25 to 40, which means they are getting married and having children and earning enough money to be desirable investors.

Spectrem’s new study on Millennials examines those people in that generation who are earning six figures annually. High Income Millennials looks at those investors and their attitudes, behaviors, concerns and decision-making factors to better inform advisors who are now engaging with or pursuing Millennial clients.

According to the study, 49 percent of High Income Millennials have a financial advisor, which means half do not. As they get older, perhaps earn more money and perhaps develop new financial pressures, it is likely some of them will want to develop a professional relationship with a financial advisor in the future.

Thirty percent of Millennials who have a financial advisor “found” that advisor through a referral from a friend or family member. This indicates that advisors should be inquiring with older clients and current Millennial clients about passing their name along to those Millennials who have not yet signed up with a financial advisor.

The other Millennials who work with a financial advisor found their advisor in a wide variety of ways. Seven percent located their advisor through a general advertisement (they work!), 7 percent found their advisor on a website that provides detailed information on advisors, and 14 percent use an advisor aligned with their bank account or 401 (k) account. It is the older Millennials who are finding their advisor through previous financial relationships, while the younger Millennials are more likely to find their advisor through general advertising in print or online.

Of those Millennials who already have an advisor relationship, 18 percent are using an accountant, 17 percent use a full service broker, and 15 percent use an independent financial planner. However, many are using a banker, a discount broker, or an insurance agent as their financial advisor, which speaks to the wide range of services required by Millennials as well as perhaps a lack of focus on investing among that age group.

But that attitude can change over time, and likely will.

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