Millennials and Gen Z expect digital experiences to help them run their lives and meet their goals. More enticing than being wined and dined are instant message replies or personalized notes that contain actionable advice. Financial advisors, whose primary stakeholders have long been baby boomers, need to gear up for a substantial shift in how their customers prefer to do business. Business as usual is about to change because advisors’ core customers have digital-first, instant-access mindsets. To prepare for the new era of advising best practices, advisors can take a curiosity in the disposition of their soon-to-be customers: millennials and Gen Z.
Understanding the Financial Behaviors of Millennials and Gen Z
1. Increased Tendency to Switch Providers
Millennials and Gen Z do not have an “in it for life” mentality. Rather than stay with a product or person for a lifetime, dissatisfied millennials and Gen Z will make a switch. According to EY, millennials are 73% more likely than baby boomers (29%) to change their financial providers, move assets, or start working with new managers. Additionally, millennials are 49% more likely than the worldwide average to seek advice in response to external events. How then can advisors position themselves as the resource that people turn to?
Advisors need to understand that millennials and Gen Z are harder customers to retain because they seek high satisfaction, and will look until they find it. Advisors, therefore, need to adapt and provide a compelling experience that entices customers and continues to delight them. Real-time digital experiences that provide actionable insights are highly valued because there is the potential for results to show quickly and with minimal bureaucracy and intervention.
2. Specialized Advice and Price Sensitivity
Millennials desire specialized advice, as 66% express concern about hidden costs, in opposition to the average client’s 54%. Financial advisors are tasked with balancing millennials and Gen Z’s tech-forward expectations, with their desire for personalized guidance. These younger generations are likely to conduct their own research but want a human to verify their findings. They want real-time information, and for experts to disseminate that information. Advisors need to, in parallel, invest in technology that enables them to easily interface with their customers.
3. Volatility and Investment Choices
Having been either a child or a recent graduate during the 2008 financial crisis, Gen Z and millennials were exposed early on to the instability of the market. Chaos ensued once again a decade later with the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications. When COVID-19 hit, the eldest of Gen Z had been out of college for less than a year. The environment was unstable and people were laid off from their jobs with limited experience to lean on. Millennials had made a dent in their career, but many had recently bought homes and started families. Gen Z and millennials react strongly to market volatility. During shocks, 50% of millennials moved their capital into savings and deposits, compared to 34% of others. These generations understand that nothing is guaranteed, and want to avoid the financial hardships previously experienced.
Investment Motivators for Millennials and Gen Z
Millennials and Gen Z want access at their fingertips. According to NASDAQ, by 2030, an estimated 80% of new wealth management clients will seek a “Netflix-style” model of advice. Additionally, millennials and Gen Z extrapolate that if a company has ESG initiatives, then they are forward-thinking and have a pulse on market trends. The company is more attractive to millennials and Gen Z because they trust that the company is doing its due diligence in securing the best possible future.
Moreover, 55% of millennials believe that their investments should be aligned with their values. In a world with an expanding wealth gap, customers with the assets to seek wealth advising services will want to commit to serving something outside of themselves. They believe that this can be achieved through their dollar. According to the same EY study, more than 75% of millennials believe they are philanthropic and advisors can lean into the charted course that millennials and Gen Z will surely follow in managing their growing assets.
Qdeck imagines the financial advisors of today adapting to the powerful generations of tomorrow with simple technology that caters to their life approach. The way that millennials and Gen Z seek to do business with advisors is not industry specific—they want things “Netflix-like,” digital first, easy-to-use, and worthy of their time. These expectations pertain to every facet of their lives. Fortunately, there are clear ways that technology can be used to adapt to these generations’ desires and still support the tradition and integrity of the advisor profession.
QadvisorGPT is a generative learning platform that provides users with real-time data, relevant news stories, and more. Millennials and Gen Z shouldn’t be left to work with advisors who don’t know them, their life situations, and their tendencies. Qdeck both helps to sustain the advisor-advisee relationship and provides a superior experience. Qdeck is laser-focused on the generational wealth shift that is impending and inevitable. Rather than endure an onslaught of change in a reactive fashion, we encourage advisors to look around at how millennials and Gen Z are living and meet them where they are in their lives today.
Ready to boost your relationship with clients across all generations? Register for Qdeck today.