The dawn of the era of the millennial financial advisor is quickly approaching. Young advisors are beginning to find their own voices and build relationships with clients who are looking for a new, younger message.
These young advisors, hungry to make their mark, are turning their backs on the major wirehouses and are electing to open up their own firms. They want the freedom to deliver their own thoughts to clients and push agendas that equate to a more modern state of mind and investing, and they have a natural advantage due to their willingness to adapt to new technology.
Pam Stross, CEO of TruClarity Wealth Advisors, told Financial Advisor Magazine that in the past year and a half her company has seen a high number of advisors in their late 30s and early 40s looking toward independence--the average financial advisor is 56.5.
In the same article, Stross pointed toward technology as an important factor to millennial advisors and one that allows them to separate themselves from the competition. She pointed to one example of how some of these young advisors’ clients like the ability to not have to head to an office and instead can have a video conference call. This works towards the millennials state-of-mind as well, since technology is pushing toward paperless offices and the general ability to reach people instantly without having to commute.
Technology is clearly becoming a bigger and bigger portion of the game and even at the major wirehouses, like Morgan Stanley, advisors are being encouraged to learn new technology.
Millennial advisors are also building business models that are designed to work with millennials themselves. Once thought a lost generation--aren’t they all--millenials stand ready to inherit the mass majority of wealth that exists on the planet over the next 10 years. And savvy, young advisors have seen these changes coming and have taken steps to prepare.
Young advisors have been able to draw in millennial clients with lower start costs and willingness to use the kinds of technology that younger investors are used to. But they are also going further and paying attention to how millennials are interested in spending their money.
Over the last few years, we’ve all seen the growth in socially responsible investing, aka ESG investing, and it seems millenials are looking to grab a hold of people’s new approach to the market. As pointed out by CNBC, “An influx of young investors are leading a charge of socially responsible and sustainable investing, experts say, funneling their money into investments and projects that serve the greater good.”
And the numbers are no joke when it comes to ESG. According to a 2018 Harvard Kennedy School study, socially responsible investing now accounts for $26 trillion. Morningstar, meanwhile, reports that at the end of 2017 there were 234 ETFs and mutual funds that invested in a socially responsible way, twice as many as there were 2012.
Millennial advisors are hungry to make their own mark and they are beginning to step out on their own to do so. They’re utilizing technology to ease access and are paying attention to the trends that are most important to younger investors.