April is “Financial Literacy Month,” so we compiled some research about three demographic groups—Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers—and what they want from you. When it comes to attracting and engaging these three groups, a recent article by LPL Financial put it this way,
“An advisor must actively engage with his clients and respect generational differences. Millennials seek a personable advisor relationship, while Generation X investors are wary and mistrustful, and Baby Boomers appreciate credentials and content. It’s up to the advisor to acknowledge these traits by building personal relationships with these clients and customizing services to address their unique needs.”4
According to Financial-Planning.com, Gen X is increasingly becoming the primary target of the financial advisor.
“Year-over-year, an increasing number of the most successful RIAs and fee-based advisors say Generation X investors will be their primary target over the next 12 months — and a top driver of profitability for their practice.
“Generation X investors are often overshadowed by older baby boomers and younger millennials. Yet Gen Xers are prepared to surpass both baby boomers and millennials when it comes to wealth creation, economic impact and industry value.
“Gen X investors are projected to nearly quadruple their assets to $22 trillion by 2030, while millennials’ assets are expected to reach just $11 trillion, and boomers will be spending down their wealth in retirement, according to a study by Deloitte. And Gen Xers are poised to inherit upwards of $30 trillion. They are in their prime earning years, surpassing boomers and millennials as the majority of senior managers and decision makers at U.S. companies. They are taking the lead as entrepreneurs, launching more startups and attracting a significant share of venture capital.”1
Here are some facts to keep in mind about how the groups differ:
Millennials (age 18-36)
- Experienced the housing bubble and parents/grandparents losing wealth in the 2008 recession.3
- Biggest challenges are student loans, living on their own or being able to purchase a home.2
- 87% want financial advisors to protect them against market downturns; however, they think the system is rigged.3
- Conservative with investments, and highly-concerned with social responsibility and activism.3
- Tech savvy, 90% use smartphones, 80% on social media. Even though they research everything online, they want financial advice from a person who is experienced. However, they do want a financial dashboard so they can monitor investment performance from their phone. 3, 4
Gen X (age 37-52)
- Remembers the 90s robust stock market, but also 9/11, wars in the Middle East and the dot.com crash.2
- They were the generation hardest hit by the housing bubble and 2008 recession.1, 2
- Very self-reliant. Many were latchkey kids, more than 50% had divorced parents.3
- In peak earning years, 76% want general financial education from their financial advisor.3
- They are very skeptical,3 52% prefer to manage their own assets.5
- Willing to accept more risk and focus more on money-making over social responsibility.3
- Often stuck between helping parents and children; they need help with both. “More than any other generation, they say the single most important reason for having an advisor is to help them prepare for and live in retirement. Their top financial concerns also focus first on saving enough for retirement, followed by cost of healthcare and financing their children’s education.”1
- 95% use the Internet and expect fintech, but do not value it over the human touch. Trust first, technology second.3
- 90% use smartphones, 80% on social media.3 Use social, regular email, scheduled meetings and informal get-togethers to gain trust.4
Baby Boomers (age 53-72)
- Experienced the savings and loan crisis, the oil and energy crisis and the Vietnam War.2
- Want financial advisors to just give them the facts; value established credentials.4
- Only 17% consider themselves knowledgeable about investments.4
- Concerned about retirement and paying for college for their kids.2
- Want to diversify assets and buffer against market volatility.2
- Feel inadequately prepared for retirement and anticipate working past age 65.4
- Active on social media.4
Find out how Shurwest can help you better engage with your clients and prospective clients in your target demographic group/s. Call us at 800.440.1088 to arrange a visit to Scottsdale.
1 “Voices. One demand from the generation advisors need most.” Financial-Planning.com. https://www.financial-planning.com/opinion/one-demand-generation-x-has-for-financial-advisors (accessed April 2, 2018).
2 “Financial life stages: How do you compare?” Ameriprise.com https://www.ameriprise.com/retirement/insights/ameriprise-research-studies/age-money-study/ (accessed April 2, 2018).
3 “Millennials and Gen Xers need different advisor approaches.” CNBC.com. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/25/millennials-and-gen-xers-need-different-advisor-approaches.html (accessed April 2, 2018).
4 “Attract Clients of All Ages.” LPLFinancial.lpl.com. https://lplfinancial.lpl.com/join-lpl/why-choose-lpl/news-and-insights/attract-client-of-all-ages.html (accessed April 2, 2018).