For financial advisors, the most important designations in American society don’t fall along income, racial, religious, education or even gender divides–they’re generational. The four main generations–the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and the Millennials—differ from one another in profound ways in their attitudes towards spending, saving and investing.
The fastest path to becoming a “trusted advisor” and connecting with clients, communicating effectively with them and winning their business is to understand their generational perspectives. For those advisors in the “senior” market, hold on to your hats: Boomers are a vastly different generation and won’t think, feel or act like the Silent Generation as they begin reaching age 65 in 2011.
The generation gap
There has been a generation gap between Boomers and their elders since Boomers first came of age in the late 1950s and ’60s. At every stage of life, Boomers have blazed their own trails, far from the path travelled by others. Looking back on the formative years for both generations, one can easily understand the divergent approaches to money management and financial issues.