In today's financial landscape, advisors are often inundated with resources and strategies for enhancing relationships with millennial and Gen Z clients. This focus has been thrust upon them by financial services companies and the mainstream financial press, despite the fact that Gen X also desires financial advice and will receive a substantial wealth transfer before their younger counterparts. As Todd Schriber points out, in a recent article at Advisorpedia.com, millennials and Gen Z indeed represent attractive demographics, and advisors need guidance to connect with these groups effectively.
According to some estimates, millennials and Gen Z constitute 47% of the U.S. population, with roughly 1.5 out of every 10 individuals from these generations currently working with an advisor. These statistics suggest that these younger demographics could offer significant growth opportunities for advisors, but establishing these relationships necessitates a well-thought-out blueprint.
A Fidelity white paper offers valuable insights for advisors aiming to expand their business with millennials and Gen Z clients. One key recommendation is for advisors to establish a target client portfolio, looking beyond the prospective client's current salary and assets. Fidelity notes, "Surprisingly, clients with higher assets or incomes may not be the most valuable to your business over time... That's why we think it's important to consider Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) when choosing with whom to work." Advisors should be deliberate in seeking attributes in younger clients, such as profession, savings rate, and attitude, to achieve revenue and profitability goals. Implementing appropriate pricing and operating models is also crucial.
Another practical suggestion is to leverage relationships with existing clients. Many advisors already have younger baby boomers and older Gen X clients, who are often the parents of millennials and Gen Z individuals. By fostering connections with these existing clients, advisors can extend their reach to the younger generations.
Social media is an essential aspect of engaging with millennials and Gen Z clients. As Fidelity emphasizes, "Winning the next generation requires engagement via social media, creating and maintaining a presence that allows you to target and scale your marketing efforts." Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter have made distinguishing between credible and dubious financial advice increasingly challenging, making it even more crucial for advisors to establish a strong presence on social media.
To cater directly to younger clients, advisors must recognize that all clients, regardless of age, desire to feel valued and sometimes even "special." This sentiment is particularly relevant to millennials and Gen Z clients. Advisors can achieve this by developing branded services specifically tailored to these demographics. Fidelity suggests offering investment solutions aligned with the values of younger clients, such as climate-aware strategies and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) funds.
Lastly, advisors should assess their firm's operating assumptions to ensure they can efficiently serve and support younger investors. This may involve adopting alternative fee structures, such as hourly or flat fees, or implementing digitized solutions to reduce service costs. Creating or utilizing online educational content can also provide clients with scalable learning opportunities.
In conclusion, financial advisors must adapt to the evolving landscape by engaging with millennials, Gen Z, and even Gen X clients. By leveraging existing relationships, embracing social media, and offering tailored solutions and services, advisors can forge lasting connections with these younger demographics and ensure continued business growth.
1 Adapted from source: Shriber, Todd. "How Advisors Can Improve Connections With Younger Clients." Advisorpedia, 29 Mar. 2023, www.advisorpedia.com/strategists/how-advisors-can-improve-connections-with-younger-clients.