There are some significant differences between boomers and millennials—including on the issues of trust, religion and politics.
• 40 percent of boomers say that, generally speaking, most people can be trusted. A mere 19 percent of millennials agree with that statement;
• 50 percent of millennials consider themselves as political independents, compared to boomers at 37 percent; and
• 29 percent of millennials are religiously unaffiliated, compared with 16 percent of boomers.
In addition, from a survey of 500 nominees for “Forbes 30 Under 30”:
- 42 percent cited high quality as the most important attribute when buying a brand;
- 52 percent prefer to bank online;
- 66 percent will be involved in a charity or social cause; and
- 75 percent shop online (10 percent mobile; 65 percent via laptop).
When deciding whether they want to retain their parents’ advisors, millennials will consider how those advisors engage with them on a personal level.
Ultra-high-net-worth millennials want a high touch service from advisors who take time to know them personally and understand their goals.
As the intergenerational wealth transfer unfolds over the next decades, it presents both an opportunity and a risk for advisors. Thirty trillion dollars will change hands, yet 90 percent of children won’t retain their parent’s financial advisor.
A personal touch will go a long way toward building the trust that’s so important to this self-reliant generation. After all, they can google answers to their queries faster than many of their boomer folks can find their phones.
Although a 2015 research report by The Oppenheimer Funds/Campden Wealth Research found millennials want to see advisors face-to-face quarterly or twice a year, they also want more frequent digital interaction. To millennials, video contact, such as Facetime and Skype, is every bit as valid as in-person meetings.
They generally see their online relationships as an extension of their “real life,” and communicate heavily in digital media. It will become increasingly important for the family office to take note of this voracious use of digital media because the Internet can eclipse many of the services offered by the family office.
millennials’ attraction to the convenience technology provides may leave them wondering why they need a family office to pay their bills or prepare their taxes when fast moving thumbs can often easily address those needs. Traditional services—such as the local bank—increasingly don’t fit into millennials’ lifestyles.
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David R. Duringer, JD, LL.M, is a concealed firearm instructor and tax lawyer specializing in business and estate planning; licensed to practice law in the states of California and Washington. He is managing shareholder at Protective Law Corporation, serving Southern California from its Laguna Hills (Orange County) headquarters and satellite offices in San Diego County (Coronado and Carlsbad).
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