Financial planning is a booming industry, and the sector is expected to see a surge in new clients as more Americans work to put themselves in a better condition. Historically, most customers who have sought the assistance of an advisor were older adults in the midst of retirement planning, but this has changed in recent years. More young adults who are just starting out with planning are interested in setting a strong financial foundation. A new analysis shows that advisors may have to change their techniques to appeal to this demographic and accomplish finance lead generation goals.
Many companies have already attempted to make themselves more approachable and help their younger clients feel relaxed by adopting a flexible and 'youthful' work atmosphere. This includes replacing suits and ties with jeans and button-ups, offering complimentary drinks and even equipping waiting rooms and lobbies with video games, such as Nintendo Wii. The firm oXYGen Financial was founded with this atmosphere in mind and the aim of appealing directly to members of Generation X and Y, according to Wealth Management magazine. Founders Ted Jenkins and Kile Lewis did away with the traditional look and feel of their company, which they argue can be stuffy.
"What I didn't want is the guy that my parents would've gone to, which is the Suit: the power tie, black suit, white shirt, in the bank across the big table, basically making me feel like an idiot all the time," Alan Moore, financial advisor and founder of Serenity Financial Consulting, told the news source.
A new look may not be enough to capture younger clients
While creating a more casual atmosphere may help build some commonality between advisors and clients, it may not be enough to retain them. The magazine notes that younger clients have different expectations than older adults, including the expectation of lower fees, no minimums and other cost-effective and comprehensive services. This is largely because these young adults may have lower net-worths than more established clients, and are in the wealth accumulation stage of their lives. In addition, this demographic is the one undergoing major life changes, such as homeownership, marriage, children and retirement planning. As a result, advisors must also be prepared to provide guidance on a range of subject areas.
Finally, the source noted that this generation is more likely to utilize technology for financial purposes, making it equally important that advisors use these channels as well to provide a more integrated experience.