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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wealth Management Product Development for Millennials by Millennials

By Carmen Effron, C F Effron Company, LLC

Stage 1

That’s right, we decided to go to the source and ask Millennials to help design the types of investment products they are looking for and have them tell us what elements the product(s) should possess. This is an “outside in” view. We started by surveying 50 Millennials from the ages of 21 – 34. Fifty-five percent were between the ages of 21-29; and forty-five percent were between the ages of 30-34. Given this breakdown, not unexpectedly, the majority makes less than $100,000 in annual income; however 15% are above the $100,000 threshold, and 2% above $200,000. This of course does not include the money they will be inheriting in the near future from grandparents and parents; estimated at a colossal $30 trillion over the next 3 decades. A recent estimate by Forbes is that Millennials today “may control an estimated $2 trillion in liquid assets.”* Participants represented a cross-section of the USA; with nine regions contributing. The Pacific region dominates with 26% of the participants.

This initial survey is the first stage of our research, where we build a baseline of knowledge so we can help the Millennials craft products that answer their needs; not dictating to them, but rather gathering their ideas and crafting these into a specific set of wealth management products. We may use financial instruments that already exist, but the end result may also include totally new and unexpected services. Exactly like a microbrewery beer, this project is a tasting of the Millennials’ appetite for not only risk but also how financial institutions’ wealth management divisions can better respond to their needs. The ultimate stage of this process is to use crowdsourcing to have the GenY-participants design the product or products that most appeal to them.

Click HERE to see the results of the survey!

* Forbes Magazine, 8/18/14; The Recession Generation; How Millennials are Changing Money Management Forever