Personal Communication Is Key for Millennials

What advisers say may not be as important as how they say it to high-net-worth Millennials, according the Spectrem Group.

Personal service from financial advisers is higher on the priorities list than the long- or short-term performance of the investments advisers put them in, the research firm found in a study.

Returning phone calls and keeping in constant contact on important issues are among the key factors that would lead a Millennial with a net worth of more than $1 million to change their financial adviser. More than half (54%) of Millennials said returning phone calls on time mattered, while 49% said proactive contact on investment concerns was a crucial factor.

Other popular reasons to change advisers were not being provided with good ideas and advice and not having their emails returned promptly (both 46%).

A slightly less compelling reason to switch adviser is long-term (over a year) portfolio losses (44%). Fewer than one-fourth (21%) are concerned enough about short-term losses to their portfolio to shed their financial adviser.

Almost half the high-net-worth Millennials surveyed identify themselves as self-directed investors, meaning they make all of their own investment decisions with the help of an adviser. Not surprisingly, they express more enthusiasm for investing and a healthy regard for their financial acumen. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) of high-net-worth Millennials said they enjoy investing and that it is something they don’t want to give up. In comparison, just 49% of Baby Boomers said they enjoy investing.

Active Investors

Further, 58% of high-net-worth Millennials said they like to be actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments, compared with 55% of Gen Xers, 51% of Baby Boomers and 55% of seniors.

The highest percentage of high-net-worth investors who consider themselves very knowledgeable about financial products and investments are Millennials (30%) and seniors (29%), followed by Gen Xers (25%) and Baby Boomers (23%). Across age levels, high-net-worth Millennials are the least likely to say they are fairly knowledgeable (46%, vs. 56% of Gen Xers, 61% of Baby Boomers and 57% of seniors.

Consequently, high-net-worth Millennials are the most optimistic about their financial futures, no doubt because they feel they have more of their work and investment years ahead of them. Nearly seven out of ten (69%) said they expect their financial situation to be stronger one year from now. In comparison, 58% of Baby Boomers and 57% of seniors are as optimistic.

More information on Spectrem Group research, including purchase information, is on their website.