They don’t reminisce about taping the charts on a Sunday evening, finger poised ready to hit the pause button as soon as Bruno Brookes started to talk. They can stream their music from Spotify or Amazon Music, whenever and wherever they want, writes Tessa Lee, managing director of moneyinfo.
We had Pen Pals, they have hundreds of Facebook friends, Instagram or Snapchat followers. We researched our homework in the school library, they ask Google, Siri or Alexa.
They’ve never given their parents three rings from a phone box or arranged to meet their mates at a set time on a Saturday morning outside Discovery Records. They don’t use phones to make actual phone calls. Why would they when they can text, WhatsApp or Messenger?
So, think it’s not worth even trying to service these digital natives? Think again. Although recent research for Michelmores across 500 affluent millennials showed that there is a growing preference for robo-advice, 48% are seeking advice from an adviser.
The research shows that despite their acceptance of online and mobile investment management platforms, affluent millennials are still most likely to trust financial advisers in general.
The conclusion is that “financial advisers should therefore consider how they communicate their ‘value-add’ and differentiate themselves from online platforms, especially for the wealthiest millennials.”
This is particularly important if you want to still be in business in 10 or 15 years’ time, when the wealth of some of your current high net worth clients is transferred to the next generation. The truth is that if you are not prepared to invest in technology to complement your face to face advice and planning services, you risk becoming irrelevant to millennials.
So how can Financial Planners differentiate themselves from the online robo and investment platforms that millennials are adopting?
The trick will be to look at the world from their perspective and blend online, mobile and face to face communication to deliver a service they will respond to, trust and value. For starters, they will Google you so keep your website fresh and make sure your LinkedIn and other social media profiles are friendly and approachable.
Give them online access to their portfolios and make sure it’s on their smartphone 24/7. Apply the principals of WhatsApp and use secure messaging to communicate with them rather than email or post. And offer video conferencing such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams.
You also need to think about how you present information to your millennial clients. This is the instant messaging generation so lengthy newsletters or pages of market commentary will not appeal. Instead, consider short video commentary and use visuals or infographics to convey information in a concise but effective way.
The reality is we all value a human connection - even millennials - but face to face planning must be supported by technology to appeal to this new breed of client. You already have a trusted relationship with their parents, so take your finger off the pause button and say hello to your future clients. It might just be crucial to the ongoing success of your business.
There’s no finger on the pause button for me either. As I’m writing this Alexa is shuffling official top 40 hits from 1981, and there’s no sound of Bruno Brookes.
 Millennials, money & myths – Technology & investment. Michelmores
Tessa Lee is managing director of fintech and adviser support firm moneyinfo