June 06, 2012

Pershing Advocates Focus on Attracting Gen X and Gen Y Investors to Support Future Success

New Guidebook for Financial Professionals Offers Insights into the Mindset of Younger Investors

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., June 6, 2012 — Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today announced the release of a new guidebook, Generation X and Y Investors Are the Future of Your Business. The guidebook focuses on how financial professionals can work towards the continued success of their firms by servicing the next generation of investors now and incorporating them into their long-term growth strategy.

Although financial organizations encourage clients to plan ahead, they don't always take their own advice. Over the past decade, most firms have focused almost exclusively on high-earning investors from the Baby Boom generation (born 1945 to 1964), according to the guidebook. But as Baby Boomers approach retirement, financial professionals need to think about strategies for attracting and retaining the next generation of clients. As Pershing's new guidebook explains, these investors are now beginning to accumulate significant assets, and in many cases are poised to inherit an unprecedented amount of wealth from their "Boomer" parents.

According to the guidebook, the challenge is that investors from Generation X (ages 32 to 47) and Generation Y (age 31 and younger) generally mistrust financial organizations more than Baby Boomers do, and feel less satisfied with the service they currently get from financial organizations. Pershing's guidebook suggests that unless financial professionals act promptly to claim their share of this much smaller client pool, and address the perceived shortcomings in service, they will almost certainly lose assets in the future.

"Studies show that almost 90 percent of prospective heirs say they will move assets to another firm once they receive their inheritance," said Kim Dellarocca, head of segment marketing and practice management at Pershing. "Financial organizations should be looking to connect now with Gen X and Gen Y investors, whose viewpoints on money and investing and the service they demand will be very different than those of their parents."

According to Pershing's guidebook, if financial organizations want to reach and retain Gen X and Gen Y clients, they can start with three steps:

  • Customize communications to Gen X and Gen Y investors, particularly those that offer insights into what other investors in their age groups are doing. Firms should also consider hiring younger advisors to bridge the gap with young investors and give them the "peer validation" they seek.
  • Offer proactive advice on tough topics for Gen X and Gen Y investors, particularly caring for aging parents. By helping to formulate short-term plans to address key client issues, firms can not only earn trust from doubting young investors, but also pave the way for more robust financial planning in the coming years. 

Financial organizations must also build trust with these investors, who may be less trusting of "middlemen" than previous generations. Gen X and Gen Y investors are more self-reliant, and prefer doing their own research or getting investment advice from family and friends. Moreover, the guidebook explains, the recent financial crisis has made Gen X and Gen Y investors wary of the markets— most keep a much larger percentage of their assets in cash than Baby Boomers. "These investors are more likely to avoid necessary risks, which may undermine their long-term investment growth," Dellarocca added. 

In addition, Pershing's guidebook suggests that financial organizations improve their use of internet and mobile technologies to engage younger investors, who rely on them for information as well as communication. Rather than simply presenting static information on a firm's capabilities, websites should primarily focus on clients and what they can do, with interactive and visual tools to help them monitor their portfolios and share control of their investments.

The guidebook also recommends a number of simple tactics, such as simply asking Baby Boomer clients to introduce their children and grandchildren. Financial professionals might use this opportunity to initiate family conversations about insurance, estate planning and family business transitions. By helping current clients address these often-neglected questions and by bringing children into the discussion, financial professionals can lay the foundation for new relationships that can endure for many decades to come.

To obtain a copy of Generation X and Y Investors Are the Future of Your Business, please visit http://www.pershing.com/generation-xy.

Pershing LLC (member FINRA/NYSE/SIPC) is a leading global provider of financial business solutions to more than 1,500 institutional and retail financial organizations and independent registered investment RIAs who collectively represent approximately 5.5 million active investors. Located in 23 offices worldwide, Pershing and its affiliates are committed to delivering dependable operational support, robust trading services, flexible technology, an expansive array of investment solutions, practice management support and service excellence. Pershing is a member of every major U.S. securities exchange and its international affiliates are members of the Deutsche Borse, Irish Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the Australian Stock Exchange. Pershing LLC is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available at www.pershing.com.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $26.6 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.3 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.4 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com or follow us on Twitter@BNYMellon.