Published by Andrew Rogers
Financial Advisors around the country are talking about the massive transfer of wealth that is going to take place over the next 30 years, with an estimated $30 trillion transferring from Baby Boomers to Generation X to Millennials. Advisors who have spent countless hours developing relationships with their clients are at risk of losing those clients if they do not start making some major changes to their investment strategies and philosophy and modifying how they communicate with their clients and their families.
Some may call it a bad thing; others a necessary change for the advancement of society – but no one can argue that technology has not changed the way our profession does business and the speed at which we can serve our clients. The Millennial generation has grown up with online financial advisors, video conferencing, web-based trading platforms and other technology many did not believe possible even 15 years ago, right in the palm of our hands. The age of the online advisor is here and the question is, “Are we going to fit in or get run over?”
As a Millennial, I can tell you my generation’s registered investment advisor search for financial planning advice starts on the internet. A quick Google search for, “financial planning news, financial newsletters, stock market commentary, financial planning articles and investment tools” then moves to searches for, “What is investment management?” “What is strategic asset allocation?” “What is portfolio management?” “What is investment banking?” or “What is the difference between wealth management and asset management?” “What is a registered investment advisor?” “What is the difference between an RIA or Brokerage firm?”
If you do a Google search of these terms, you will find online asset allocation calculators, whitepapers on the meaning of private wealth management and how to set up a personal investment account to start saving today. There are hundreds of thousands of financial planning tools online for investors to get started with one firm or another. It is no wonder Millennials are taking an interest in not only their personal financial plans, but also the personal financial plan of their parents. The internet is an incredible resource full of information. So where do financial advisors fit in?
They fit in as the trusted advisor; the professional who has done all the research, knows what options are out there and then acts as the quarterback coach giving instructions to his star player. The Millennial wants to be the quarterback and in the driver’s seat; the information is available, but they need that trusted advisor to sort through all of the information overload and give them sound investment advice to open an asset management account. Millennials will make advisors work for their fees, but it will be more about education than short term investment strategy performance. Developing relationships with the next generation of investors is key to long term success as a financial advisor and you should demonstrate to them that their advisor is continuing to invest in new technology and ways of communication.