Traditional financial advice has been the domain of older Australians, but as Millennials start to make up a greater proportion of the workforce and inherit wealth, advice will have to pay more attention to their needs, a panel has heard.

At Professional Planner and the Financial Planning Association’s Best Practice Forum in Sydney and Melbourne last week, businesses that have tailored their offering to Millennials shared what they have done to engage with the younger generation.

Below are five of their strategies.

  1. Hire younger advisers

Businesses who wish to target Millennials need to be relatable to the clients they wish to attract and part of that may mean having advisers that are representative of themselves, according to Pieta Diamantidis, adviser and managing director of Caboodle Financial Services.

“If you’re thinking of building an offering targeting millennials, you may need to think about who in your office is doing that?,” she said. “Do you need to get an adviser in your office that’s in that Gen X space?”

2. Work with them

Chris Bates, wealth coach with Wealthful, said he discovered quickly in his business that the “do-it-for-me” model was not going to work. His strategy shifted to one of shared control with his clients.

“You need to be taking an active interest in every single part of their life,” he said.

3. Drop the jargon

Jargon is rife in financial services, but overusing it could put a barrier between you and prospective Millennial clients, Diamantidis said.

“We’ve all got used to this language almost as if it gives us our professionalism… I actually think a true sign of genius is when you don’t have to use the big words. I challenge you all to step back from the acronyms.”

Bates said two of the things he did 18 months ago to improve Millennial engagement was stop wearing a suit and to stop talking in jargon.

Diamantidis agreed. “As an industry, we put on our suits in the morning as a bit of armour, but if we want to connect with this generation we need to be more of ourselves.”

4. Use digital to compliment, not replace, face-to-face

Contrary to the notion that advice should be delivered to younger generations digitally, two-thirds of the Millennials Diamantidis surveyed said they still preferred face-to-face advice.

However, Millennials did show a preference for social media for research, primarily Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. She made the point that Millennials may be using platforms like Snapchat for social sharing, the platforms they turn to find out about managing money tend to be the ones advisers are already on.

5. Content marketing is king

Bates has found success with content marketing by simply writing blog posts about topics he knows well and loves.

“A lot of the benefits behind content marketing were unknown to me,” he said. “The community I was building was passionate about the things I was passionate about.”

The Professional Planner/Financial Planning Association Best Practice Forum concluded last week. Professional Planner would like to thank its sponsors, Colonial First State, Commsec Adviser Services, Praemium, Super Concepts, Vanguard and BT Financial Group, as well as its CPD partner Portfolio Construction Forum. 

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