Millennials are on the fast track to become wealth manager’s biggest clientele in need of financial and investment advice. Therefore, it’s important to understand what makes them different from their parents and how it could influence your client acquisition, customer service, and investment strategies.
The Millennials (got their name from the years of their birth: 1981 – 2000), also called Generation Y, are currently the largest adult demographics as Goldman Sacks pointed out. They are also soon to become the wealthiest. It’s estimated that within the next 25 years, Gen Y will inherit about $68 trillion from their ancestors, the Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The process, called the great wealth transfer, has already begun and will position Millennials as the largest and possibly the wealthiest generations ever to exist.
Here are some data-backed insights to prepare your business for Millennials’ wealth management.
Robo-advisor or human-advisor
Millennials are the first digitally native generation. They have grown up in an era where the internet is widely accessible. Almost all of them start the day by checking their smartphone as the first thing to do in the morning. Thus it is not surprising that 67% of Gen Y choose computer-generated advice (robo-advisory) as an essential component, and 67% want software to track their financial data in real-time according to the Accenture survey.
The survey suggest, even though Millennials are currently more prone to seek out online platforms and robo-advisors, they still would like access to a human advisor and in-person meetings.
66% of them would like self-directed platforms but with access to a human advisor and 63% likes platforms with a direct connection to their advisors. The Millennials wealth management trends challenge report from Deloitte also supports this result. They’ve found that 82% of Gen Y’s appreciate personal meetings with the advisor.
The survey by PwC on the level of financial literacy  reported that only 8% of Millennials showed advanced knowledge. This result explains the need for a human financial advisor. The largest group, 24%, displayed an understanding of only the basic concepts. Perhaps due to the lack of interest or distrust of the financial institutions, Gen Y’s know less about the financial markets and instruments than their parents.
These results suggest that when serving Millenials, it’s important to:
1) incorporate technological and software solutions;
2) offer a sense of control over assets and investments like a 24/7 overview of their portfolio;
3) allow an option to directly contact a human advisor online and offline for a more personalized investment strategy.
Millennials coming into wealth will require more help and advice regarding investment opportunities and balanced portfolio management. Wealth managers for Millennials will face a challenge and an opportunity to raise their client’s trust in investing and lead them towards higher returns and better long-term goals.
Balance data security and client experience
Users of today are used to the seamless user experience (UX) and practical design of the BigTech companies. According to Deloitte, 57% of Millennials would change the bank for a better technology platform. It’s therefore advisable to provide them a useful and functional website, apps, and platforms.
As tech-savvy people exposed to internet threats, Generation Y’s are more aware of online security and data privacy. 79% of them fear to be a victim of online fraud and identity theft, and 73% are worried about the security of their data, Deloitte suggests. It is, therefore, important for wealth management companies to keep the data in a safe place.
It is challenging to balance online security and seamless user experience. As a financial organization, you may require to use a strict two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s not as quick as the single password login or as the Amonson’s one-click purchase, but it is more secure.
You and your company should also pay the utmost attention to the local privacy regulations, i.e., GDPR. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes many obligations on businesses that handle personal information. You are required to give your customers both access and the ability to change or delete their personal information at any time. You’re also required to perform a risk audit, provide adequate cybersecurity measures, and inform the public about any data breaches within a specified timeframe. Failure to comply comes with hefty fees of up to 20 million euros.
Depending on your company, your services, and the local regulation, you should strive to facilitate access and UX whenever possible without jeopardizing the client’s data privacy or security.
Millennials’ investments preferences
More than any previous generations, Gen Y is sensitive about social and environmental issues. According to Morgan Stanley’s report, 85% of them were interested in sustainable investments, and 90% would choose it for their portfolio.
Millennials consider sustainable assets and stocks in renewable energy companies a natural part of their portfolio. Many of them aware of the profitability trade-off that comes with this kind of investment. Despite that, they still prefer to sacrifice profits in exchange for impactful investments that will make a global difference long-term. 75% of Generation Y believe their choices could influence climate change and 84% that they can alleviate poverty, and they are taking action.
Millennials’ wealth management firms need to be able to satisfy these needs by proposing investment in environmental and socially responsible companies aka. ESG instruments. You should also make sure your own company is ‘green’ and socially conscious and pay attention to those aspects of your branding and public relations.
The great wealth transfer is approaching, and the next biggest and wealthiest adult group, the Millennials, are challenging all industries, including wealth management. Gen Y’ers prefer sustainable, impactful investments, self-directed portfolio management, machine-generated advice with human guidance, and professionally designed application for 24/7 access to their financial products and communication.
Wealth managers for Millennials will have to update their CRMs, open online and offline channels of communication, and offer much better online client experience than ever before. Still, there are many tools and software readily available to help with the task. Wealth managers who start updating now will gain new audiences and benefit from improved business efficiency.