Millennials (defined roughly as those who are born between 1980 and 1995) have recently become the largest percentage within the workforce and many in this age group will be the recipients of wealth in the coming years. This makes them an important client demographic for advisors.
However, just like every generation, millennials come with their own unique set of characteristics and challenges.
Here are a few challenges advisors face in advising millennials and tips to overcome them.
Unlike the previous generation who had a tendency to save, instant gratification and recognition are part of this generation's DNA. They crave for the good things in life - be it the latest technology or the latest bike, they want to buy it.
Mumbai based advisor Suresh Sadagopan of Ladder7 says that the key is in spreading out the goals.
“There are so many things millennials want to spend on in a short timeframe. Get them to spread out their goals over a larger time horizon. Point out possible expenditures they cannot postpone and those they can. For example, buying a car can be postponed but marriage expenses cannot be,” he says.
Alternately Mumbai based Nikhil Naik of Naik Wealth suggests starting millennial clients on tax saving schemes. “This will get them into the habit of investing. Once they get comfortable with the idea of savings and investments, we can introduce other products to their portfolio,” he says.
Millennials never accept anything at face value. They like to crosscheck any advice you give over the internet and with their friends. Only if they are completely convinced, will they invest.
Mumbai based Tarun Bhirani of TBNG Capital Advisors points out that while doing research on a product is not a bad trait, the millennials’ blind belief in the internet is.
“Every person is different. What worked for one person at one point of time need not work for another. This is something we need to make millennial clients understand. I usually spend two to three hours in behaviour coaching such clients. I welcome them to cross check my advice by asking them to factor in various aspects of their situation. Gradually they start trusting the advice I give them,” he says.
Another key characteristic of the millennials is their lack of clarity. “I find that most clients are unable to visualise their future. They keep changing their priorities so rapidly, it is difficult to keep pace with them says Mumbai based Tejal Gandhi of Money Matters.
The only way to overcome this challenge is by reviewing their portfolio regularly. “Usually I call them in for a review meeting every quarter. Doing these meetings, I am very firm with them. I reiterate the importance of staying invested for the long term and how their goals are looming much closer than they think. By regularly reiterating these points, I keep them focused on their goals,” she says.