Connect with us

Public Relations

How Financial Advisors Can Crack the Millennial Code


Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 12.20.34 PM.png

Written by: Hailey Lanier  

There are an estimated 80 million millennials in the United States today. Defined as those born between the 1980’s and early 2000’s, the millennial generation has been called many things. “Generation Y”, “Generation 9/11”, and “Generation Next” are among nicknames for this group, but what about “Generation Investment-Shy?” As a financial advisor, millennials present a huge opportunity, but you must first be able to understand and reach them.

Most financial advisors agree that it’s best to start investing when you’re young, but only 26% of Americans under 30 have investments. In studies, millennials have said that a lack of financial knowledge, as well as a lack of information, has made them hesitant to invest. However, this generation is saving more than any generation before them, so if they’d like to make investments, many have some money to do so. In order to help these individuals, advisors will need to crack the millennial code.

Most potential investors would seek to remedy their lack of knowledge by working with a financial advisor, but millennials are completely different. A recent article detailing what financial advisors are doing wrong when it comes to reaching millennials is spot-on, and has some extremely valuable advice. 

When it comes to working with millennials, understanding them and their needs is key. Millennials have more student loan debt than past generations, are more entrepreneurial, and are wary of the capital market. After watching their parents and friend’s parents lose money in both the dot com bubble and 2008 financial crisis, millennials are more used to seeing volatility in the market. 

What does this mean for financial advisors? Millennials will need a little more hand holding and assurance during market downturns. While these customers have a great investment opportunity time wise, financial advisors need to first focus on current needs, such as paying off student loans, or saving for a house one day. Advisors need to help them stay focused on their goals and long-term growth, rather than bailing at cycle lows and letting the market scare them away.

While working with millennials is one hurdle to overcome, reaching them in the first place is a whole new ballgame. Most advisors have relied on the same tactics for years to bring in new clients, but it’s far past time to adapt to something new. Millennials are extremely technology dependent, and are always looking for convenience. Smart phones and mobile devices allow for everything possible to be within reach, and they are used to on-demand service.

As a financial advisor, you must make your services convenient to them as well. Connecting with them through their modes of communication (such as social media and online) and packaging information and advice in a fun way (such as through apps and visuals) will be well received. Blogging is also a great way to reach and educate millennials, as blogs are something they are very used to seeing, and often participate in themselves.

Most millennials do not want to meet with advisors in a traditional office setting, so reaching out through these platforms can work wonders. In short, this is a generation that wants the information delivered to them, instead of having to work to seek it out. They equate a meeting with a financial advisor to a dentist or doctor’s appointment, and everyone knows that those aren’t pleasant. Meeting with customers from this generation can be adapted to their needs, by sitting at a round table as it’s less intimidating, or meeting in familiar territory such as a Starbucks.

Overall, millennials present a great challenge for financial advisors, but also a great opportunity. They want advisors who can adapt to their needs and constraints, and help them prepare for the future. By understanding their needs and habits, financial advisors can grow their customer base, and help this generation prepare for their futures.

Continue Reading