In an era defined by technological innovation and an ever-shifting economic landscape, younger generations are transforming the way financial advisors serve their clients. As digital natives, Millennial and Gen Z investors seek personalized, transparent, and comprehensive approaches to managing their finances. As a result, they are turning to independent financial advisors instead of traditional institutions. This shift signifies a departure from conventional financial models and presents an opportunity for independent advisors to demonstrate their value and services. Cornerstone Wealth Management encourages and helps independent advisors to connect with the next generation in many ways.
The Advantage of Independent Advisors
1. PERSONALIZATION AND TAILORED STRATEGIES
Millennials and Gen Z place a high premium on personalization. They seek financial advice that is customized to their distinct circumstances, goals, and values – and incorporates a whole-life approach to their finances. Independent advisors have the flexibility to provide tailored services without being restricted by corporate obligations or products. This enables them to build comprehensive financial strategies that align with the specific needs, values, and aspirations of their clients.
Cornerstone encourages advisors to highlight customized financial planning services by adding a hypothetical client profile to their website that illustrates how the advisor helped the clients pursue their financial goals (e.g., a young entrepreneur who successfully expanded their business). Another strategy is to showcase client testimonials. Whether these are from a Google Business Profile, email, or handwritten notes, testimonials are essential to building social proof and the trust of younger prospects.
2. TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST
Three-fifths of Americans, including 71% of Gen Z and 72% of Millennials, say there are financial topics they want trustworthy advice on but aren't sure how to get it.* Trust is paramount when it comes to managing finances. Younger investors value transparency and want to fully understand where and how their investments are being made, including more sustainable investing options. Independent advisors typically offer a higher degree of transparency regarding fees, investment choices, and potential risks. This transparency builds trust and credibility, essential factors in establishing long-term client-advisor relationships.
Independent advisors with Cornerstone benefit from our support as well as an affiliation with LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer.** When working with a Cornerstone advisor, clients know they are backed by the stability and strength of a leading financial services provider that offers advisors the opportunity to serve their clients with both transparency and a wide range of investments to meet their financial needs.
3. ACCESSIBILITY AND APPROACHABILITY
Younger investors often find independent advisors to be more accessible and approachable. The intimidating aura that can be associated with traditional financial firms is absent, and they feel more comfortable engaging in open dialogues about their financial concerns. Independent advisors can create a conducive environment for discussions, be it in the office or virtually.
Cornerstone recommends offering a 20-minute ask-anything session for prospects and the family of current clients. Building and strengthening these relationships today with the next generation can ensure a more seamless transition of wealth.
4. HIGHLIGHT EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND BEHAVIORAL COACHING
Robo-investing and AI lack the ability to understand the emotional and behavioral aspects of investing. Financial advisors can empathize with clients, helping them navigate emotional financial decisions and avoid impulsive moves during market volatility. In fact, 85% of Gen Y and Gen Z would like some form of behavioral coaching vs. 25% of Baby Boomers, according to a 2022 study.***
Stressing the importance of emotional intelligence in financial success can help advisors connect with the next generation. By educating and setting realistic expectations with their clients, advisors help them visualize goals and assess behavioral triggers that may lead their clients off track.
The shift toward independent financial advisors among Millennials and Gen Z is a significant trend that reflects their changing preferences and needs. These generations value personalized, transparent, and professional financial advice. Independent advisors have the opportunity to capitalize on this shift by highlighting their knowledge, commitment to tailored strategies, and a client-centric, holistic approach. By effectively showcasing the value they bring, financial advisors can attract and retain younger clients who are seeking a more hands-on and personalized approach to managing their financial future.
*intelliflo 2022 survey by The Harris Poll
**As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2022, based on total revenue
***Fidelity Investments 2022 Investor Insights Study