By: Laura Hanichak Gregg
Director of Client Development
FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds
If you're like most advisors, your pool of clients probably looks a lot like you. That's understandable: people in all professions tend to work actively to attract those with whom they believe they are most easily able to reach and relate. And given that the majority of registered financial advisors are older, white, and male, it's little surprise that the majority of investors employing their services are also older, white, and male. In fact, the average age of a financial advisor in the United States is 50, and that average is increasing annually.
Industry experts worry that a perfect storm is brewing on the horizon, one that will impact the financial advisement industry adversely. They predict that there will be "insufficient FA replenishment," noting that for every person entering the industry, two become eligible for retirement.
But it's not just the advisor pool that needs a bit more diversity in terms of age in order to avoid that storm. It's also the client pool that needs to reflect some younger faces. As other industries rush to market themselves to the Millennial generation, the financial advisory industry has largely shied away from trying to connect to this age cohort. That's mainly because they have bought into a host of myths about Millennials' beliefs, behaviors, and, yes, their bankroll.
Are these myths grounded in any facts? And what can you, as an advisor who wants to diversify and enrich your practice, do to push past these myths and operate a practice that allows you to reach and successfully work with this untapped client pool?
Our new series, "Millennial Myths," aims to answer these two questions. Over the course of seven articles, we'll take a look at the most common myths that tend to prevent advisors from pursuing Millennials both as employees and as clients. Then, we'll look at whether those myths have any basis in reality, and we'll offer ideas about how you can adapt your own practice to work effectively with the Millennial generation.
We think you'll find the series a useful springboard for conversations with colleagues — and yourself. For further information on this topic, download the paper, Managing NextGen Financial Professionals: Getting It Right by Breaking Stereotypes.