Rebecca Jones takes a look at why, and how, advisers should be adding young professionals to their client banks.
Young professionals tend to be elusive clients for financial advisers. One explanation seems to be that professionals in their late twenties to mid-thirties are, generally speaking, less concerned about securing their financial future than those hurtling towards retirement and, as such, tend not to seek out advice.
There is also a palpable sense of unease among advisers when it comes to taking on younger clients as they can often lose interest in financial planning after a good deal of hard work has been put in.
Despite this, Lisa Conway-Hughes, an adviser at Westminster Wealth Management, argues that if you can find – and retain – a young professional client, the benefits may outweigh the hard graft.
How to attract young professionals as clients
“To put it bluntly, young people will be clients for longer than those in, or approaching, retirement. If you can help them at important stages in their lives, you will probably find they will be more loyal going forward,” she says.
Claire Walsh, an adviser at Pavilion Financial Services, agrees, adding that getting young people onto your books will inevitably lead to a “developing client base, rather than a shrinking one”.
New challenges, new answers
It is a well-known fact that many people in their twenties and thirties face tough financial challenges today.
“Young professionals are being pulled in all directions. While their parents had final salary pension schemes and got onto the property ladder in their early twenties, young people today have university debt, have to save more to buy a property and cannot rely on a company pension,” says Conway-Hughes.
As a result, she claims that people in their mid-thirties are, in fact, actively seeking out financial advice and, significantly for advisers, banks are becoming a less likely source as recent events have caused many to lose faith in them.
To capitalise on this, both Conway-Hughes and Walsh suggest promoting younger advisers to potential clients in their twenties and thirties.
While older, wiser advisers may have the benefit of experience, younger members of staff may be more able to empathise with clients in similar positions to themselves, a point 32-year-old Conway-Hughes claims can help the advice process.
Additionally, younger advisers may be able to attract clients of a similar age through their social and professional networks, something Walsh, also in her early thirties, has often enjoyed.
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