Two-thirds of financial advisors with older clients may get pink-slipped by Millennial children as their parents’ head into retirement.

$30 trillion in wealth will transfer to the younger generation in the next 30 years, and many will already have their own financial advisors with whom they have a trusted relationship while others, according to a Forbes magazine article, ‘don’t feel comfortable’ with their parents’ trusted advisers and regard them as ‘difficult to work with’ or ‘out of touch’.

That’s not an unreasonable perception in a space where only 30% of personal financial advisors are women and only 21% are minorities (2016) leaving male financial advisors – the average of whom are white and over fifty – can have an annoying tendency to underestimate women’s ability to manage finances, despite research showing that they’re overall better investors than men, earning more on their investments annually and less prone to risky financial behaviour. Women own 30% of the wealth globally and over half of personal wealth in the United States and that percentage will only increase. Never mind the fact that the number of female millionaires has grown and women are graduating from four-year colleges more than men. Millennials were born into a multicultural and gender-diverse world, and grew up in a digital age where an older advisor may not be as comfortable or as savvy with technology. So how does a financial advisor today reach out to the younger generation and gain their trust before it’s too late?

Financial advisers looking to ‘inherit’ Millennial children from their parents have two factors in their favour:

  • They can get a referral from someone Millennials do likely trust: Their parents.
  • Millennials, unlike their elders, are far more open to talking about salary and personal finance.

One thing Millennials share with other generations: only about 24% are financially literate. Only 27% are willing to ask for help, but they’ll respond positively to a kind offer. Persuading them to engage with an advisor or wealth manager isn’t difficult if you speak their language.

A study conducted by Millennial Disruption Index shows that 71% would rather visit the dentist than listen to a bank message. Traditional advertising won’t work here. If you can’t reach them via their parents, or you’d like to increase your Millennial clients or membership externally, you want to communicate a message that reaches out to them about your financial knowledge and experience and to give them a reason to trust you.

What do you have to offer?

How well do you understand their goals and life objectives? As the venerable advice goes, “Show, don’t tell.”

It’s common knowledge Millennials are largely addicted to their mobiles and tablets. They also value highly personalized service. This point should be of particular interest to credit unions whose primary appeal is personal relationships with their members, along with that hometown, community support feeling people used to get from banks before they consolidated and merged. American banks face ongoing trust challenges in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. They and other wealth managers must figure out how to work with the biggest generational demographic as the Baby Boomers pass on – and establish relationships with a generation marked by less conservative financial planning and more attention to community and social factors, along with the timeless concern about fees and fairness.

Present Me, Future Me

One challenge is that the younger someone is, the farther away she is from a distant stranger called Future Me. Recent brain research reveals an interesting finding in how everyone, not just Millennials, relate to the future.

There’s one part of our brain that processes our feelings and ideas about ourselves and another part that handles how we feel about others. Our idea of our future self – particularly what we’ll be like in some distant future – is processed in the part of the brain that thinks about others, not the part that thinks about ourselves in the present. Since “myself” is the most important person to almost everyone on earth, Present You is a lot more important than Future You.

Talking to a Millennial about the importance of planning for retirement is like trying to convince someone they need to make a monthly donation to help a child in poverty thousands of miles away. Some may respond sympathetically and donate money to help. Many people though, won’t resonate with that unless they can see the child, either living in poverty or looking much better after someone helped financially. Visuals are emotionally visceral. You either want to help that poor child or make another one smile like the happy child in the photo.

When Millennials visualize what their distant future looks like, with positive reinforcement rather than an elderly life on the streets, you communicate a stronger message about the importance of planning early for the Future Me they’ll meet sooner than they realize.

Another tactic is to ask them what obstacles keep them from planning for their life goals now. Research shows when you address and confront the roadblocks to something you want to do, you’re more likely to devise a strategy to accomplish it.

How to speak Millennial

A creative, friendly, personalized and custom-branded video can paint the picture of a rosy retirement. Or, for example, how a car payment would be more affordable if the loan was taken out through a low-interest credit union.

A great interactive video can offer advice on how one could pay off a loan or a mortgage faster or provide a better explanation as to the various credit card options available so a client can truly choose the right one for her needs.

BLUERUSH created a highly successful mortgage explainer video for DUCA Credit Union that generated 125 new leads in just one week and led to a rapid increase in mortgage approvals.

When DUCA needed to increase their deposits, BLUERUSH drove the highest traffic ever to their Earn More Savings account landing page via SEO and Facebook. It generated over 500 new leads in a little over a month, earning the largest amount of deposits in the shortest period of time they’d ever experienced.

Our INDIVIDEO™ personalized, interactive videos can integrate financial tools and calculators and provide incisive analytics and metrics to enable you to identify just how well your campaign is working – who clicked on an embedded website or email video, how long they watched it, and what data they supplied if it’s interactive. They can educate, onboard, and guide clients and new visitors toward taking an action – signing up for a new credit card or reaching out to a human financial advisor.

Now here’s the sweet spot.

Almost no one is considering how to reach out to Millennials, as one of the many misconceptions about them is that they’re heavily in debt and have no money. There’s some truth to that statement, although it doesn’t apply to all. Now’s the time to reach out to them. In addition to eye-catching interactive videos, BLUERUSH also creates professional-looking live-action videos, games and mobile apps which will engage a generation that much prefers video to traditional text and pictures.

Engage with Millennials, speak their language, and paint a picture to help them achieve their goals.

Just like you did for their parents.


Since 2003, our tools have helped the top North American financial institutions, including wealth, banking, and insurance, to create empowering and competitive digital financial experiences. We’re revitalizing financial tools and services to help your customers make active financial decisions with absolute confidence in your products.

If you’d like our expert opinion, contact us.

About the Author:

Nicole Chardenet has been in IT for longer than she cares to admit and sales for even longer. Her sales career encompasses computers and networks, broadband sales, SAAS, professional services, and now cool leads-generating marketing videos.

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