Advisers Targeting Older Millennials

Seventy percent of advisers are focusing on this age group.

Fifty-six percent of advisers say they are focusing on Millennials less than other age groups or not at all.

However, 70% say they are targeting people in their late 20s to mid 30s, according to Hartford Funds’ third annual Advisor Anxiety Survey. Hartford Funds defines Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000, which places Millennials’ ages between 15 and 35.

Hartford Funds says advisers should not ignore the younger Millennials. “The term ‘Millennial’ has become a buzzword in financial services, being discussed constantly by financial firms and advisers,” says Bill McManus, director of strategic markets at Hartford Funds. “However, our survey suggests a disconnect when it comes to understanding who falls into this Millennial category. Many advisers may be missing valuable insights for attracting their younger client targets.”

The survey also asked advisers when they plan to retire. Seventy-one percent plan to work at least 16 more years, and 53% plan to work for more than 20 years. Hartford Funds said it is particularly interesting that despite planning to offer advice beyond 2030, advisers are consciously saying they are not focused on the Millennial cohort.

“When factoring in their career longevity, there is even greater concern that many advisers aren’t intentionally engaging Millennial clients,” McManus says. “Advisers who plan to work for at least two more decades need to thoughtfully engage their younger clients in order to grow along with their needs. Millennials will reach critical planning milestones in the coming 10 years and require support in navigating the market and reaching their goals.”

More than half, 57%, of advisers expect clients to become more risk averse in the coming 12 months, up from 35% in 2014. “Because advisers foresee greater risk aversion among clients in the coming months, they are in the unique position to help maintain focus on the bigger picture and minimize clients’ tendencies to make emotionally driven investment decisions,” McManus says. “Particularly as the market and investors anticipate a rise in interest rates, it will be critical for advisers to help clients manage through potential market adjustments.”

In fact, experts say that advisers should educate investors about volatility, with many saying even retirees will need exposure to equities because they could live out a retirement that lasts 30 years or longer.

Asked what are their major concerns, advisers first cite market volatility (57%), followed by interest rates (51%), international turmoil and its impact on the markets (46%), clients’ anxiety about saving and investing (42%), and attracting the next generation of clients (32%).

Hartford Funds surveyed 103 advisers in June.