What do millennials want from financial advice? Increasingly, the answer is computer over human, according to Forrester Research expert Davis Janowski, speaking at the recent Technology Tools for Today conference in Las Vegas. Forrester’s research shows that nearly a third of millennials are OK with robo investment advice, versus 11% of investors overall.
Thanks to the increasing consumerization of technology brought about by the ease of smartphone and tablet use, millennials expect a higher level of service from all their service providers, including financial advisors. Moreover, the next generation of investors expect a multichannel experience, such as the ability to switch between self-service applications on their laptop, phone or tablet and working with a live advisor.
When it comes to the apps millennials prefer, design is key, perhaps even more than function. Janowski citied the robo-advisor Wealthfront and the app Acorns, which allows users to save and invest small amounts, as examples of millennial-friendly applications with responsive designs that are easy to use regardless of end user device.
How do you know what will best appear to this audience? Janowski cited A/B testing — offering and tracking responses from two different versions of the same function — to best determine what resonates and what should be scrapped.
Being able to attract — and retain — millennials will be critically important as their aging parents transfer wealth. Noted advisor Ron Carson of Carson Group related at t3 how he lost a nine-figure portfolio when his client’s millennial children inherited the family wealth and brought it to an advisor more attuned to their needs. His advice is to let clients choose their own path.
“Millennials will say they don’t have time for an appointment, but want information when they want it. If they can get what they need from the portal at 3 a.m. Christmas morning, that’s great,” Carson said.