Talking about my generation – How are asset managers targeting a younger (millennial) generation?

Global asset managers are jumping on the millennial bandwagon, all perhaps wanting a share of the millennial market – millennials number around 70 million in the US and around 15 million in the UK are now the largest generation in both countries.*

Millennials are also “the next generation of wealth”.

According to Deloitte, by 2020 – the aggregated net worth of the millennial generation is tipped to more than double the 2015 figure.

The estimated figure, the report states, is set to be $19 to $24 trillion.**

In order not to appear “majorly uncool” trying to impress the millennial generation – akin to your dad trying his best dance moves at a school disco – asset managers have tried a different approach to attract younger investors born in the 1980s and 1990s.

Schroders has created a bespoke website – M0neyLens – written by millennials (for millennials) across all parts of their business.

“MoneyLens came together as an idea to help educate millennials, by providing information on investing and other money-related topics in a clear and jargon-free way. The website was created and developed by a group of millennials within Schroders who felt passionately about this subject and wanted to help inform their peers. The aim is to raise awareness of investing and build a community of users who are engaging with the site and each other around personal finance and investing, said James Cardew, Global Head of Marketing at Schroders.

The writers draw on their own personal experiences and expertise to help readers learn how to manage their money. Additional contributors, such as millennial bloggers and advisers, also share their thoughts and experiences on the site.

Below are the most read millennial money stories of 2018:

1. A quick and dirty guide to the financial goals millennials should (and shouldn’t) worry about
2. Why your first 10 years of saving could be more powerful than the next 40 combined 
3. Why age-old financial advice needs updating for millennials
4. Why I fell in love with renting 
5. Sharing the gain and the pain: managing finances as a couple 
6. Shares vs property: where do I invest?
7. Why I chose not to go to uni: £40k debt is just part of the answer
8. What happened in 2008? Explaining the financial crisis
9. 10 books that will change the way you think about personal finance
10. What my grandparents taught me about saving and investing

Kat Sutton, Digital Communications Manager at Schroders and a member of the MoneyLens working group, said: “As millennials ourselves we know how important it is to understand the world of money and how to manage our finances. We also know how confusing and jargon based this industry can be so we wanted to offer clarity to millennials through engaging and educational content.”

Untapped market

Richard Wazacz CEO of Octopus Wealth believes asset managers and wealth managers are trying to attract millennial investors because “they represent a growing and relatively untapped market”, which they haven’t been doing.

“Unsurprisingly, the client base of wealth managers and advisers skews heavily towards older generations. According to one study, 55% of all such clients in the UK are over the age of 55 – with 30% being over the age of 65. However, there are around 9 million millennials in the UK – just under 14% of the national population – and they’re about to come into a lot of wealth.”

Octopus’ Wazacz says that financial intermediaries are using a number of ways including empathy to gain the trust of a younger type of investor.

“If you’re in your 30s and considering the need for financial advice of some kind, you’d be forgiven for wanting it to be tailored to your particular life stage. While retirement should form part of any client’s financial planning, regardless of their age, clients who are still thirty years away from hanging up their boots will no doubt feel they have some more immediate concerns to cater for: raising their young family, thinking about their children’s education, or caring for their older family members.

“Millennials will also, I think, attach greater importance to the customer experience they’re offered by their wealth manager. After all, it’s a generation that’s been brought up to expect a seamless and convenient user experience from the brands they interact with, regardless of sector.

“Now, this isn’t about replacing face-to-face advice with technology. Research from Deloitte has shown that 82% of millennials would even appreciate more personal meetings with their investment adviser. Instead it’s about using technology to create a compelling, engaging and easy-to-use experience that complements and strengthens the traditional personal relationship.”

Wazacz thinks in the future financial products and services will be created solely for millennials: “As we’ve seen, millennials will be the primary market for wealth management in the not-too-distant future, and so it seems only logical to develop services that cater for them.

“However, given that Generation Z now account for an even greater proportion of the population, I’d wager that it won’t be long until the conversation turns towards their specific needs and concerns”

Judging by these asset managers, millennial investors are a too large a part of the UK and US population to ignore, but the million dollar question is will asset managers and the financial services industry as a whole get it right when it comes to attracting younger investors – i.e. recognise they are a valid type of investor without patronising their financial intelligence.

Sources

* Katherine Davidson, portfolio manager global & international equities at Schroders ‘The Millennial Myth’

**Millennials and wealth management. Trends and challenges of the new clientele

1