between generations

Survey Finds Affluent Millennials & Gen Xers Will Move More Assets to Advisors Over Next Decade

Younger investors want tech savvy advisors

NEW YORK, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Amidst the proliferation of new financial planning and investing tools available to investors, a new survey finds affluent Generation X (Gen X) and Millennial investors plan to allocate more of their assets to financial advisors.

Global X Funds, the New York-based provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), released today the results of its second annual “Beyond Baby Boomers” survey, which shows that 64% of Millennials plan on allocating a greater percentage of their assets to advisors over the next ten years. In contrast, 48% of Gen Xers and only 29% of a control group of investors plan on increasing funds given to an advisor. Meanwhile, only 18% of Millennials and 15% of Gen X investors plan on reducing their allocations to advisors during that period.

Both groups report that the new presidential administration has increased the likelihood that they would work with a financial advisor, although at differing rates. Eighty-five percent of Millennials and 57% of Gen X investors say the election of President Donald Trump affected the likelihood that they would work with an advisor.

Given the growing amount of investable assets held by Gen X and Millennial investors, many financial advisors are wondering how to best attract these new clients. The survey yielded surprising data that an advisor who possessed strong technological capabilities effected the likelihood that 93% of Millennials and 71% of Gen X investors would work with such an advisor. Sixty-six percent of both groups, would expect a financial advisor to have an easily navigated website. Other digital tools were also important; 61% of Millennials expect advisors to have a mobile app and 50% expect them to have a social media presence. Though, fewer Gen X investors have these expectations of advisors – 44% prefer an advisor would have a mobile app and 37% expect a social media presence – these percentages indicate preferences that are still material.

The survey also yielded insightful data on how advisors communicate and connect with Millennial and Gen X investors. When asked how often they prefer to speak with their advisors, 78% of Gen Xers and 71% Millennials would like to interact with their advisors quarterly or more frequently. Eighty-three percent of Millennials said they are connected with their financial advisor on Facebook, and 68% responded that they are connected on Instagram. Though, Gen Xers are less frequently connected with their advisors on these social media platforms, with 64% connected on Facebook and 43% connected on Instagram, when “less frequently” equals almost two-thirds – again, these percentages are still material and should be noted.

A key takeaway for financial advisors is that affluent younger investors still want personal interactions complemented by a set of technological tools at their disposal.

“This year’s survey provides some surprising insights that question the conventional wisdom about the future of investing, including the assumed flow of assets to robo-advisors from two tech-savvy generations. A key takeaway for financial advisors is that affluent younger investors still want personal interactions complemented by a set of technological tools at their disposal. However, specific investor preferences differ from generation to generation,” said Jay Jacobs, director of research and vice president at Global X.

For Millennials, the most important expectation they had of an advisor was the ability to protect their investments during a market downturn, with 87% noting it as extremely or very important. For Gen X, financial education came in as the most important advisor offering, with 76% noting it as extremely or very important.

In terms of actionable investment strategies, Millennials demonstrated significant interest in thematic investing. Eighty-three percent of Millennials are extremely or very interested in thematic investing compared to 61% of Gen Xers. Specifically, 85% of Millennials believe financial advisors should be assisting in aligning one’s investments with their personal beliefs versus 68% of Gen Xers. In addition, 84 % of Millennials believe advisors play an important role in identifying unique growth opportunities compared to 72% of Gen Xers.

Fast Facts:

  • Millennials – Aged 21 – 37 years old with over $250,000 in individual investable assets
  • Generation X – Aged 38-49 years old with over $500,000 in individual investable assets
  • General Population – Over 21 years old with over $100,000 in individual investable assets
  • Number of survey respondents: 600




Methodology: Survey was conducted by third party vendor in Q1 2017
Seeking to provide access to high-quality and cost-efficient investment solutions, Global X is a New York-based sponsor of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Founded in 2008, we are distinguished by our smart core, income, alpha, risk management and access suites of ETFs and have more than 50 funds available across U.S. and foreign exchanges. Global X is recognized as a leader in providing intelligent investment solutions for our clients.