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Attracting Millennial Investors to Your Practice

Mark Bateman - February 8, 2016

What percentage of your investor clients are Millennials?  Are you—like everyone else–trying to figure out how to increase this percentage?  There are certainly no shortage of articles or blogs that try to dissect the Millennial psyche, and a fair number that even try to analyze the Millennial bank account to determine likely investment strategies.

Unfortunately, too few look at the link between core Millennial values and the business approach financial advisors should take to work with this generation of investors.

Is there anything we can learn from studies of Millennials in other areas of their lives?

  • A Pew Research Study finds Millennials have more Facebook friends and take more selfies than older generations.
  • A Deloitte “Millennial Survey” finds 77% of Millennials involved in a high level of social networking view their employer’s “sense of purpose” as part of the reason they chose to work for that company.
  • The Pew study also finds that 51% of Millennials support gay rights, 50% are politically independent, 48% lean “liberal” on political views, 57% lean “liberal” on social views, and 32% identify as “environmentalists.”
  • A Merrill Lynch “Millennials and Money” study concludes that Millennials want to “remain in the drivers’ seat” and “take nothing for granted.”
  • A Better Homes and Garden survey highlights the desire of Millennials to personalize their homes.

So what do we make of all this?  Millennials are more socially networked than older generations (hardly a surprise).  This is most relevant to thinking about the manner in which Millennials perceive and process information—through their networks.  The views of their peers matter; the perceptions their peers have of them matter.

On this basis, views that they have are likely to be views they will broadcast.  When a Millennial identifies the sense of purpose of their employer as being significant, this is likely something that will be shared, and affirmed or contradicted as they learn more about the company.  And they will likely be affirmed or contradicted in relation to not only purpose, but to other strongly held views—many of them social views.

So how does all of this relate to the investing lives of the Millennial generation?  It is not a stretch to believe that people who care about the purpose of where they work would extend those same views to their investment portfolios if given the chance.  This creates an opportunity for financial advisors.

Advisors who are prepared to share the possibilities of better aligning an investment portfolio to a Millennial’s values may be better prepared to overcome some the hurdles of earning the trust of this generation.  This also lines up with the view that personalization matters in investment portfolios as much as in homes.

The first step to linking all this together is being able to show Millennials that you have tools to help them understand the companies they are investing in through mutual funds and ETFs.  ENSOGO Analytics can start that conversation for you.  Then, they can decide where their values fit into all the other information you’re also providing.

And because they share their experiences, successfully helping one Millennial may be the most significant step to earning the business of a number of Millennials.