McKinnon added that hiring younger talent to serve younger clients is also a “compelling” way to attract the next generation.

Understanding The NexGen Mindset

Simonoff pointed out that millennials came of age during a series of economic disasters—including the bursting of the tech bubble, the financial crisis of 2008, a housing crisis in which many people lost their homes, a weak job market and (most recently) the pandemic.

“These folks have gone through a lot,” Doder acknowledged. Consequently, they are big believers in diversification, she said. They even diversify their revenue stream. “That’s why we hear so much about the gig economy and people having multiple jobs,” she said. “It’s not so much about lifestyle as diversification.”

To that end, they want to be informed about the variety of available investment opportunities. McKinnon agreed, saying NexGen clients are very interested in becoming better educated. “They don’t want to just delegate their portfolios,” she said. “It’s not a trust-me strategy [that they seek].”

NexGen clients will inevitably find information on their own, the panelists agreed, though it won’t all be good information. “Our ability to create educational content and cultivate or curate content that’s in line with what’s in their best interests, that will help guide them, is a really important part of the service model today,” said Doder.

NexGen clients still want a trusted advisor, she added, but they want it to be more of a partnership. They want to ask questions and be informed.

On the other hand, McKinnon said, the traditional two-hour in-person consultation won’t appeal to most NexGen clients. “YouTube is a must,” she said. “The amount of people finding financial advice on YouTube has dramatically increased.” She suggested that advisory firms should create short, informative YouTube clips—five- to seven-minute informal videos that “teach about financial topics.”

Pressed further about recommended resources, Doder insisted there is no single all-purpose resource. Part of her job, she said, is finding out what each client wants to know more about and then providing sources that support their needs.

Insatiable Appetite For Info