- The Millennial generation grew up in a time of financial uncertainty with the Dot com bubble and the Great Recession, and thus they are leery of the financial industry.
- Millennials love the online world, but it can often lack the connection they are looking for, and the traditional advisor world is too formal, too focused on the advisor.
- There is a middle ground, where you can have access to all your financial information online, but also have access to a financial advisor when you want one.
In 1998, Alan Greenspan, who was the Fed chairman at that point, said that we had irrational exuberance. It was meant as a warning to say that the markets were overvalued and that confidence in the economy and financial markets were misplaced. Dot com was going crazy, tech stock was wonderful, and then we had the crash of 2000-2003. Then, real estate started going nuts, which resulted in the Great Recession. This all occurred in the formative years of the Millennial generation, and so Millennials, generally speaking versus other generations, are less inclined to put their money in equities because all they have ever seen are down markets.
Another unique aspect to Millennials is that they like to do most things online, especially when it comes to the financial arena. They also know they could use some advice, but they are a little slow to take advice from parents or financial advisors, mainly because they’ve seen the abuses in the financial industry. They are in a tough place here, because it seems like everything relative to money is negative or down.
If we take the positive approach here, what this is really all about is two things: using the digital environment in conjunction with an advisor to help make good decisions about your money. The advisor needs to be separated from Wall Street, from commissions, from the ways of the past, because, quite frankly, these things have not worked out for a lot of people. We’ve seen it with parents and grandparents that have been hit hard over the past 20 years.
There’s a lot of attraction with the Millennial generation to use the “robo-advisor,” where basically all financial transactions and advice are online. But then there’s no connection. Then you look at the main advisor world, which is what your parents and grandparents gravitate toward, and it’s all about the advisor with no digital side. I believe there’s a middle ground, and we’re slowly starting to see it out there in the financial industry.
I think you are seeking out this middle ground. You have that digital representation, but also an advisor on an as-needed basis, but probably not too often, just so you make sure you are on the right track and making good decisions. This is something, as a firm, we’ve been working on for the last several years. If you want to know more, contact us and we’ll walk you through what we believe are some ways for you to address these issues in the environment you’ve grown up in over the past 20 years. We know it has made it difficult to really figure out the whole financial equation and how it pertains to you, so let us help you navigate what works for you.
Until next time, enjoy!