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TheStreet Open House

Millennial Investors More Conservative, Less Trusting Of Financial Advisors Than Baby Boomers And Gen Xers, According To Accenture Survey

A Leading Indicator

“The behaviors and attitudes of millennials are not just a matter of long-term strategy for wealth managers; they are a leading indicator of the need for change today,” added Pigliucci. “The recent financial crisis brought a sea change in attitudes toward investing and distrust for the financial industry across all generations. The explosion of digital and social channels in everyday life is simultaneously spilling into consumers’ relationships with their financial institutions. With half of all baby-boom investors currently active in social media and a vast majority active online, the innovations that will capture the millennial generation also will help capture the most coveted demographics among Gen Xers and baby boomers.”

According to Accenture’s research, there are more than 75 million digitally savvy investors in the U.S. with high-income, assets and education, which Accenture refers to as “Generation D” or “Gen D.” This highly coveted investor demographic, upon which Accenture’s survey focused, makes up 44 percent of the online, U.S. population, aged 18-65, and represents approximately $27 trillion in total assets.

Gen D members see investing as a viable path to building and passing wealth to future generations, and they recognize the need for financial advice. But they are less and less likely to view financial advisors as trusted sources. For example, 59 percent of respondents across all generations said they had actively sought financial advice recently, but only 40 percent had turned to a financial advisor, according to the survey.

“The evolving investment behavior of Generation D – from baby boomers to Gen Xers and millennials – has brought a seismic shift in the client-advisor relationship. Wealth managers who provide transparency, education and tools that make investing easier to understand -- and those that provide the rationale behind their recommendations -- will be positioned to achieve trusted-advisor status among market-leading demographics,” concluded Pigliucci.

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