Advisers Have Untapped Opportunities with Gen X/Y

More than one-third of Generation X and Y (Gen X/Y) investors surveyed by MFS Investment Management say their need for advice has increased since the downturn.

The study showed that when compared with their older peers, Gen X/Y are more likely to express an unmet need in all areas of an advised relationship – particularly for portfolio management and account review/rebalancing.   

According to a press release, perceived cost is the main barrier to obtaining financial adviser services. When asked why they do not have an adviser, 53% of Gen X/Y said it is not worth it or did not want to pay for it.   

A third of survey respondents said they do not need an adviser (they do it themselves or use friend/family member); 22% cited a lack of trust; 28% said they do not have enough assets to warrant an adviser; 10% do not know how to go about finding an adviser; and 12% reported never being contacted by an adviser.   

“Considering the median household investable assets of Gen X/Y surveyed was $260,000, their responses about financial advice are staggering – a significant portion of a large demographic group with considerable assets to invest does not understand the value proposition of an adviser,” said Bill Finnegan, director of Global Retail Marketing for MFS, in the press release. “Advisers need to consider what motivates younger investors and how they prefer to do business and then develop new strategies to engage them. Failing to engage with Gen X/Y now potentially limits advisers’ ability to sustain and grow their practices and may damage Gen X/Y’s ability to establish both strong investing and saving habits as well as long-term plans for life’s goals.”  

MFS surveyed investors with at least $100,000 to invest and asked them to compare their attitudes and behaviors about investing today with those before the recent economic downturn and recession.