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Millennials Relaxed If Advisors Track Them Via Social Media

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , April 15, 2019

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When it comes to advisors following them on social media platforms, Millennials are very relaxed, a study shows. Older generations aren't so keen.

The vast majority of Millennials and those of the prior generation are open to being followed on one or more social media platform by their financial advisor, highlighting how digital channels are now seen as the norm.

A study of 502 individuals in the US who use a financial advisor, carried out by New York-listed Broadridge Financial Solutions, showed that 89 per cent of Millennials and 59 per cent of Generation X people are open to such social media connections with advisors.

Baby Boomers, however, aren’t keen on social media interactions with advisors at all.

The survey shows that Facebook is the most preferred social media network for advisor-client engagement, with 61 per cent of Millennials, 38 per cent of Gen X and 19 per cent of Baby Boomers open to an advisor following them on the platform. 

The data comes as advisors say they want to customize services to clients' requirements as much as possible, while at the same time keep costs under control in a regulated marketplace. Such surveys also chime with arguments, often heard by this news service, that younger adults are more relaxed about digital privacy and interested in models such as "open banking" - through which banks tie up with third-party service providers. Whether this relaxed posture will remain if and when further cyber-security breaches take place, or if government policies make privacy more a concern, is another matter, however.

Some 53 per cent of those surveyed indicated that there was some level of customization in their investor communications by calling them “personally relevant.” However, when asked to further describe those communications, fewer than 4 in 10 respondents said they were “engaging” and fewer than 3 in 10 reported them as “actionable”, the study found.

“As a result of technology transforming the customer experience, investors have come to expect a certain type and level of service no matter [what] the industry or consumer relationship,” Chris Perry, head of Global Client Solutions at Broadridge Financial Solutions, said. 

“It’s clear investors want to interact with their advisors on social channels and want high-quality, engaging and actionable financial advice. This presents a real opportunity for advisors to provide more personalized communication and experiences,” he continued. 

More than one-third of Millennials (38 per cent) use their smartphone as a primary device when reading advisor communications, compared with a quarter of Gen X (21 per cent) and 7 per cent of Boomers. 

It appears that tech enthusiasm has its limits, however. When it comes to paper as their preference, 37 per cent of Boomers, 22 per cent of Gen X and 10 per cent of Millennials prefer to read investment communications on a hard copy.

On the related issue of client reporting and how technology plays a big part, see this recent research from ClearView Financial Media, publisher of this news service.

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