How to get millennials involved in their future

For millennials, financial advice can be really boring. Let’s live for today, right?

Well, not really. Indeed, there’s not nearly enough appreciation or awareness among millennials for financial advice. They’re not starting on their investment journey early enough – and almost certainly will suffer later in life as a result.

Photographer: Tanya McCulloch

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As a millennial myself, I know if someone had shown me the right skills when I was younger I’d be in a different place. If we can set people up with good financial habits early they’ll last a lifetime.

More needs to be done to attract millennials to advice - including the basics of financial literacy. As I tell my clients, it’s important to do so when you’re starting out in your career - not just when you have some savings tucked away.

" There’s not nearly enough appreciation or awareness among millennials of financial advice." Erin Truscott, adviser & shareholder at GCA Financial Pty Ltd 

Involved

According to a Deloitte report in 2015, over two thirds of wealth-management clients are aged over 60. The younger generation is just not engaging at this level. Indeed, a Goldman Sachs survey from the same year showed more than half of millennials surveyed wouldn’t spend more than half an hour getting financial advice.

The same survey found only 28 per cent of millennials said they’d be willing to spend the time required to get the advice they need. Only 14 per cent listed a professional advisor as the source of their financial advice – 62 per cent listed their partner and 41 per cent their parents.

The good news is there are ways we can help. For advisers, it’s about changing our approach.

Jargon can be an issue. Advice can sometimes be complex and the terminology advisers use risks putting young people off.

At my firm, GCA Financial, we talk about ‘financial freedom’ rather than using terms like superannuation or retirement.  Particularly if millennials hear these latter terms, they instantly picture being housebound or too old to do the things they have worked so hard for their whole lives.

Financial freedom is getting to a stage where you can work because you want to, not because you have to. It’s about having a choice to live your life the way you want to - including all the fun.

If you can give advice in terms millenials can understand they can relate to it. Millennials – including me - are highly visual. If you can map it out for them you then have a vehicle to talk about the ‘boring’ stuff.

If you talk to millennials who have gone through the advice process they recognise the value of the experience - but sadly those millennials are a very small minority. 

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Platform

As a profession, financial advice hasn’t completely embraced the opportunities offered by technology in dealing with clients.

I use a lot of video conferencing when dealing with clients interstate but on the whole it’s still very much face-to-face, one-on-one contact.  Within our business we are trying to implement more of kind of tech – without losing the personal touch, of course. That’s really important.

There’s always going to be a need - especially with complex financial scenarios - for clients to want to sit down and deal with a human. It’s quite an emotional exercise at times – indeed, meetings seem to be more valuable face-to-face.

Erin Truscott is the winner of the 2016 Association of Financial Advisers Rising Star award which celebrates excellence in the advice industry and recognises the next generation of financial advisers.

The AFA and ANZ Wealth are currently on the lookout for a 2017 Rising Star. Eligible nominees will have been a primary adviser for three years or less, harness innovation to provide advice and demonstrate outstanding commitment to their clients, community and the profession.

You can find out more and nominate someone HERE. Nominations close July 28.

I mention this because young people appear to respond better to technology based meetings and advice. I guess it’s just a part of our everyday life. For older people it’s a little bit more foreign.

Overall, they key is creating a space in which clients are comfortable engaging with advisers, whether that is face to face or via another means - figuring out who a client is, what they want and being able to address those issues is essential. 

Profession

A lot of advisors turn their heads the other way when it comes to millennials; taking a view they aren’t worth the time and investment. I believe the opposite and at GCA we think it’s about the way we deliver our advice.

There’s a large incentive for the profession to fix this impression. According to Deloitte, by 2020 the total net worth of millennials in the world is expected to range between $US19 and $US24 trillion.  Already 54 per cent plan to start their own business and 27 per cent are self-employed.

As a profession we need to shift the way we give advice. Millennials are highly aware of their surroundings and we need to increase their awareness of advice. It’s not like there’s a lack of ways to communicate with them!

I’m passionate about helping people with financial advice. Being passionate and being able to put yourself in the shoes of a client is what it’s all about.

To millennials I say: this is your money. You can create an amazing future for yourself if you start working on it today! Financial freedom is far from boring.

Erin Truscott is an adviser & shareholder at GCA Financial Pty Ltd 

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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