Advising Gen X and Gen Y – what do they really want?

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Evolving your practice to cater to the needs of Gen X and Y could leverage a growing opportunity to engage with the next generation of wealth builders.


According to ING DIRECT’s The Truth about Gen X and Gen Y report (2016), more than 95% of Gen X and Gen Y do not have a financial adviser. However, the vast majority (85%) say they would seek out financial advice if they were to receive an inheritance.

With this younger cohort poised to inherit $2.4 trillion in wealth from their parents, they are clearly in line to be the ‘key clients of tomorrow.’


Forward thinking advisers who seize the opportunity to establish relationships with Gen X and Gen Y now will be in good stead to advise them in the future. But how can you best tailor your business model to suit their needs and nuances?  


The advice relationship

ING DIRECT research into the attitudes of Gen X and Gen Y showed a preference for face to face advice, with 80% saying they would like to meet with their adviser in person, even if just for the initial meeting. But even within the cohort, it’s clear that a ‘one size fits all’ approach won’t suffice: Gen X is more attuned to seeking ad-hoc advice, while Gen Y indicates a preference for more regular contact.

With the younger generation, a more flexible approach tailored to their needs will be a driver of engagement, so consider how you can adapt your practice to deliver accordingly.


Support to reach goals

Saving for a property or maximising future wealth are often synonymous with seeking financial advice, but The Truth About Gen X and Gen Y highlighted that short term financial control was equally important to this generation.

Top of mind is paying the bills and covering family expenses, as well as saving for travel and also managing debt. Think about bridging the gap between cash flow and wealth building by offering advice around budgeting and immediate money management in addition to longer term financial planning. 


Making it affordable

ING DIRECT research found that affordability rated highly amongst considerations when selecting a financial planner for both Gen X and Gen Y, with expertise, reputation and transparency around fees also influencing the decision making.

With an overwhelming perception among Gen X and Gen Y that financial advice is expensive, there is an opportunity here to offer flexible advice that isn’t prohibitive. Consider how you could innovate within your business model to deliver tailored solutions, incorporating a low-cost element. For example, face to face meetings could be supplemented with online tools, or you could offer modular blocks of advice in addition to the full service model. 

It’s encouraging that Gen X and Y are showing signs of wanting to take control of their finances, now and in the future. If financial planners can develop a model whereby the younger generation can access tailored advice when and how they need it, it could be a win-win for clients and advisers alike.

Advising Gen X and Gen Y – what do they really want?
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