“Generational wealth.” If the term seems familiar, it’s no surprise! This buzzword has taken over headlines within the financial space in recent months, and it shows no signs of fading. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it worth your attention?
Generational wealth is defined by the assets that have been passed down from one generation to the next. If an individual leaves behind a significant inheritance to their descendants, that would be considered generational wealth.
More and more advisors are turning their focus toward what’s known as the great wealth transfer -- and with good reason! Baby boomers, the wealthiest generation in American history, are on the brink of passing down $30 trillion dollars over the next few decades. During this enormous transfer of wealth, a large number of advisors may see changes to their practice if they don’t know how to connect and cater to their client’s heirs.
As our country enters this unprecedented age, it’s imperative that advisors learn how to work with -- and more importantly, retain -- their next-generation clients. Studies show that a sobering 66% of children fire their parent’s financial advisor.
So, how do you build a relationship with the family of your client as you navigate the process of transferring their assets, ensuring both your client AND their heirs trust you to help them for years into the future?
There are three actionable steps you can take:1. One of the critical first steps is to start the conversation today about strategic wealth management. By discussing inheritance plans and what your clients want for their children early on, you can help create a solid foundation for your planning relationship.
Proactively bringing up topics like the great wealth transfer, estate planning, and trusts with clients demonstrates that you genuinely care about the future success of their children. This is often a major differentiating factor in how effectively you can implement the next steps.
2. Go above and beyond and involve your client’s children in all client-related communications. The earlier you can bring in your client’s children into conversations, the more time you will have to build the groundwork for a sturdy, long-term relationship!
Initial conversations can sometimes revolve around who you are as the advisor and what you do for the family. You can even start bringing in your client’s children by adding them to your CRM or database (with their parent’s permission) so they have access and can see the work you have done.You can go another step further by setting up their dashboard, sending quarterly reports, and, once completed, sending them a financial plan.
3. Lastly, you can think about changing your fee structure to serve your client’s children and grandchildren.For example, you can assist clients with major events in each child’s life, such as career transitions or buying a first house. You will become a trusted resource remembered for playing an impactful role during the important milestones in their lives.
In addition to the above, another way you can retain your client’s children is by developing ways to cater to the millennial generation and their preferences.
The first place to start is to evaluate your technology stack and the tools you use for financial planning. Advisors are guaranteed to run into roadblocks at their practice if they are not equipped to connect with younger clients who are digitally savvy! They expect a very different servicing experience than their parents do. Millennials grew up with the internet, so utilizing digital tools will further enhance their experience in working with you.
Additionally, adopting the fee-for-service monthly subscription model is just another way to help retain your younger clientele.
Most individuals of the millennial generation are already used to a subscription or “Netflix” billing model, and paying their advice fees directly out of their monthly cash flow provides consistency. Through the AdvicePay platform, you can seamlessly set up subscription payments and provide your younger clients a digital portal to make payments electronically.
If advisors want to attract and retain millennial clients, they must adopt the correct tools to offer a digital experience.
In the end, most parents want to set their kids up for success financially -- whether or not they leave a large inheritance behind. By developing trusted relationships with your client’s heirs and understanding their generational preferences, you will be on your way to retaining them as clients.
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Posted by Lana Dalton
Lana is a Happiness Champion (aka Relationship Manager) at AdvicePay and loves helping enterprise users implement and optimize the AdvicePay platform. After graduating from the University of Washington in Seattle, Lana spent the past three years working in the tech industry, helping organizations implement software, create training content, and establish onboarding processes. When she’s not helping our enterprise users, you can find Lana trail running, backcountry skiing, and cooking different types of cuisine.