It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict what’s going to happen in the financial services industry during the coming years. A generational wealth transfer of historic proportions is about to occur that will transform the very nature of the financial advisory profession.
Survival Of The Fittest
Depending on how your advisory team is positioned, this epic transfer of wealth will be either the best of times or the worst of times. Vast numbers of Baby Boomers are approaching retirement age and it’s estimated that more than $30 trillion dollars of their accumulated wealth will begin flowing to their heirs. Where it goes and how it’s managed are unanswered questions that are causing many financial professionals to toss-and-turn in their sleep.
This seismic shift in generational wealth transfer is cause for advisory teams to rethink how their business models are structured and for many, it couldn’t happen at a worse time. With the average age of financial advisors now 50 years of age, the likelihood of a serious disconnect between today’s advisors and tomorrow’s investors is not only possible but probable.
It’s true that people like to do business with people they know and trust. What’s even truer is that people like doing business with people who are similar to them, people that they connect with on a more personal level because of shared interests, preferences, traits and especially – values. According to research by Legacy Capital, 80% of millennials are not receiving guidance from their parent’s advisors. It’s logical to conclude that graying advisors will encounter a difficult if not impossible task of identifying with the new generations of investors because of the profound age and cultural gaps that exist.
Re-engineer Your Advisory Team
The upcoming transformational shift in wealth will find many advisory teams struggling to adapt while others evolve in ways that mirror the diverse demographic makeup of nextgen investors. Teams that recruit, train and retain young advisors who see the world through the same lens as the new generations of investors will be proactively positioned for change as it happens.
While significant numbers of the nextgen population will inherit sizeable wealth, the majority of them will still earn it the old-fashioned way – over time, through hard work and achievement. This is more good news for advisory teams that have proactively assimilated younger advisors into their fold. They’ll have the opportunity to establish relationships early-on with this new breed of investors before they reach their peak earning years. Young advisors will enjoy the luxury of time to earn the trust necessary to guide their peers through subsequent phases of their financial lives.
Infusing your advisory team with young blood is smart planning, but it’s just one step along a longer path your team must travel. The mindset of your team must similarly evolve. As the advisory profession continues to gravitate towards digital asset management mechanisms, value propositions that rely heavily on product or project performance rather than outcomes will diminish in importance. Conversely, value propositions with messaging that speak to the new generations on a deeper, more emotional level will touch them where it matters most – in their hearts. Acquiring the ability to connect with young investors factually and emotionally is the spark that can ignite the growth of your advisory team.
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