Financial advisors need to quickly bridge a generation gap that could cause them to lose the lion’s share of young investors’ business over the next 35 years, Pershing CEO Ron DeCicco said Wednesday.
“You can’t ignore the next generation of investors if you want to remain relevant,” DeCicco told a packed ballroom of financial professionals at Pershing’s Insite 2014 conference in Hollywood, Fla.
At stake, he said, is $59 trillion in potential assets under management that Gen X and Y are expected to inherit from their baby boomer forbearers between now and 2052.
That coming shift in personal wealth appears to be good news for advisors, until you look at research that indicates 86 percent of these heirs will fire their parents’ and grandparents’ advisors, DeCicco said.
What beef do younger investors have with today’s advisors? The answers to that question aren’t crystal clear, but he suggested one way for advisors to tackle the problem is to be younger in their thinking and hiring.
That includes rethinking the traditional appoach of building trust through frequent phone calls and face-to-face meetings, he said.
“The younger generation isn’t particularly interested in even meeting you,” DeCicco said in an interview after the address. “They want to be able to go online and get information about you.”
The average age of the U.S. advisors is 51, he noted. The gap between the average advisor and average Gen X/Y investors may even be greater when measured by technological savvy.
“They will seek advice, but they demand a different type of service model,” he said, noting Gen X and Y appear to be more receptive to communicating through their mobile phones than through face-to-face meetings.
One study he cited, for example, concluded that 80 percent of young people sleep with their mobile phones.