The financial services industry is in the midst of a generational transformation. By 2030, millennials will likely be well on their way to becoming the age group with the largest investable wealth. Yet only 4% of Americans ages 18-24 and 7% of those ages 25-34 currently use a financial advisor, presenting outsized untapped opportunities for advisors that are able to make the right connections. 

Beyond the substantial long-term potential, younger investors have some immediate needs that can allow advisors to engage. Experiencing higher job mobility than any previous generation, nearly eight out of 10 millennials holding assets in a former employee retirement plan are likely to roll over funds in the next 12 months.

It’s Not Just Millennials

But it’s not just millennials that need help with their financial planning. The ongoing shift towards defined contribution retirement plans such as 401(k) has turned the average American into an asset holder, creating a large class of novice investors. For the majority of them, understanding the nuances and logistics of financial management is admittedly difficult.

Although 92% of Americans say nothing makes them happier than feeling that their finances are in order, 97% of them aren’t making time to do so. While the average American adult spends three hours a day watching TV, they spend less than two minutes a day managing their finances. 

The Profound Impact on Investment Managers

These fast-changing dynamics are affecting every segment of the financial services industry, with a particularly profound impact on investment and wealth management providers.

Independent Advisors: As investors adopt various forms of automation — from robo advisors to target-date funds —  the need for active investment and portfolio management services traditionally provided by independent advisors is rapidly diminishing. While the revenue mix has been steadily shifting from transaction commissions to asset-based fees, advisors are under increasing pressure to demonstrate value and offer custom-tailored solutions to justify these fees.

Broker-Dealers: The digital revolution has reshaped the playing field for broker-dealers. Online services have democratized access to trading, leading to rapid consumer adoption and a race to zero trade commissions. To win over a new generation of customers, brokers must elevate client relationships from transactional to conversational, deliver higher value through personalized advice, and offer a superior customer experience. ​

Retirement Plans Providers: Top concerns for plan sponsors are shifting from reducing costs to helping employees secure their financial future, forcing plan providers to prove their value by focusing on participants’ need for guidance throughout their journey to retirement and beyond. Responding to these new demands, leading providers are investing in tools and processes that empower reps and advisors to streamline interactions with plan participants and deliver a highly personalized client experience. ​

A Renewed Urgency for Personalized Client Interactions

While the challenges are apparent, these demographic and behavioral trends present new opportunities for wealth management firms to position themselves as the provider of choice for a new generation of investors. The ability to redefine client interactions will determine which firms will survive the transformation and earn customer trust.

Despite the rise of digital technologies, investors overwhelmingly (88%) want to see technology that complements human advisors, not replace them. With that sentiment in mind, it should not come as a surprise that 92% of consumers want to make sure they can have a live meeting with their financial services provider when facing an important financial decision.

At the same time, investors expect a new kind of meeting experience, including frictionless appointment booking, timely reminders and notifications, and well-thought-out conversations that make the most of their precious time. Vying for streamlined, engaging, and highly personalized interactions, as many as 74% of consumers and 82% of millennials are willing to schedule an appointment online or though a mobile device with their financial advisor.

Time Invested with Clients Drives Relationships, Assets and Profits

Forrester research shows that even the slightest improvement in customer experience can yield significant growth in assets under management. According to PWC, financial services firms that provide great experiences earn up to a 16% price premium and enjoy higher customer loyalty.

Not surprisingly, top performing financial advisors spend 40% more time with clients relative to the average advisor. Whether you are a broker-dealer, an independent advisor, or a retirement plan provider – positive, ongoing connection with clients is the engine that drives engagement, action, and asset growth.

Trusted by more than 500 enterprises and over 30,000 businesses, including top financial services providers and ten of the top 20 banks in North America, Engageware Intelligent Appointment Scheduling provides a quick path to delivering a superior customer experience across all channels – enabling advisors to engage customers at key decision points, deliver value through personal interactions, build trust, and earn their loyalty.

Ready to learn more? Schedule an appointment with one of our solutions specialists today.

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