Recently, the cover story for InvestmentNews was “Why won’t financial advisors take millennials seriously?” In part, the article explains that most financial advisors don’t feel millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are worth the effort because of a lack of investable income or because millennials are dubious of financial advisors.
Millennials do present a different set of challenges from the generations before them, but perhaps some of those challenges would be worth it if financial advisors saw them more as a future investment in their businesses.
Millennial women cannot be ignored
According to the Pew Research Center, since baby boomer women forged into the workplace, the percentage of women working has grown. In 1985, 66% of women were in the workforce and 86% of men; in 2018, the gap narrowed to 72% of women compared to 83% of men. Additionally, millennials are getting married and starting families later than previous generations, which means financial advisors need to adjust their thinking in order to help single, professional women.
Inherited money may walk
While millennials stand to inherit a significant amount of money from their boomer parents, most of them are not that interested in using “daddy’s financial advisor.” Millennials want someone who understands them and what their struggles and perspectives are. As the generation who entered the workforce during the Great Recession, they have different ideas about money than their parents, who enjoyed great periods of economic growth.
Millennial money may come from non-traditional sources
This may be one of the greatest challenges for financial advisors who are not millennials themselves. Millennials make money differently than their parents and grandparents. Mark Zuckerberg is a perfect example. Not to mention others like the founders of Pinterest, Mashable and Tinder.
Or consider even more non-traditional moneymakers, such as Jeffree Star, with a net worth of $75M, a make-up artist who became YouTube famous with 17.5M subscribers and started a make-up line. Or YouTube favorites, Dude Perfect, a group of five competitive guys who made $20M last year. These represent careers that ten years ago financial advisors, and the rest of the world, could never have imagined. Advisors who want to go after these millennial mavericks will need to present their services in a new, fresh, and personal way.