Millennial Investors More Conservative, Less Trusting of Financial Advisors than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, According to

  Millennial Investors More Conservative, Less Trusting of Financial Advisors
  than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, According to Accenture Survey

  Millennials Most ‘Determined’ Among Generations to Master Investing, Pass
                            Along Wealth to Family

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- February 6, 2013

Millennial investors are more conservative and less trusting of financial
advisors than baby-boom and Gen X investors, and more inclined to consult
other sources before accepting financial advice, according to an Accenture
(NYSE: ACN) survey of more than 1,000 high-income, digitally savvy U.S.
investors. The survey also revealed that millennials are the most determined
of the three generations to learn how to invest and pass along wealth to their

Forty-three percent of millennial respondents (age 21-30) described themselves
as “conservative” investors, compared with 31 percent of baby-boom respondents
(age 46-70). Millennials were also significantly more likely than baby boomers
to say they prefer “tried and true” investment options (27 percent vs. 19
percent, respectively). They were four times more likely than baby boomers (28
percent vs. seven percent, respectively) to say they are unwilling to act on
the advice of a financial advisor without first consulting other sources.
Forty-four percent of millennials said they “spend a lot of time researching
alternatives before making a major purchase decision” – compared with 33
percent of baby boomers.

Viable Target

“Surprisingly, the millennial generation has emerged from two boom-and-bust
cycles even more conservative about investing and more skeptical of financial
advice than the generations that were hit hardest by the market,” said Alex
Pigliucci, global managing director of Accenture Wealth and Asset Management
Services. “This poses a fundamental challenge for financial advisors who will
see the greatest transfer of wealth in history from boomers to their heirs
over the next several decades. But counter to prevailing wisdom, our research
suggests millennials are a highly viable target for advisors.”

According to the survey, published in Accenture’s new report “Generation D: An
Emerging and Important Investor Segment,”  millennials are the most driven
among the generations to build and pass along wealth, and the most interested
in mastering investment strategy. Forty percent of millennial respondents said
they are “determined” to pass along wealth to their families, compared to 25
percent of baby boomers and Gen Xers (age 31-45). Forty-four percent of
millennials described themselves as “extremely” interested to improve their
understanding of investing compared to 38 percent of older respondents.

The survey points to unmet demand for online investor education and
advisor-interaction tools that could increase millennial investing and help
bridge the “trust gap” with financial advisors. Presented with concepts for
new online educational resources – ranging from online investment forums and
educational web-based video services, to virtual advisor chats, webinars and
social media – millennial respondents showed overwhelming interest.

A Leading Indicator

“The behaviors and attitudes of millennials are not just a matter of long-term
strategy for wealth managers; they are a leading indicator of the need for
change today,” added Pigliucci. “The recent financial crisis brought a sea
change in attitudes toward investing and distrust for the financial industry
across all generations. The explosion of digital and social channels in
everyday life is simultaneously spilling into consumers’ relationships with
their financial institutions. With half of all baby-boom investors currently
active in social media and a vast majority active online, the innovations that
will capture the millennial generation also will help capture the most coveted
demographics among Gen Xers and baby boomers.”

According to Accenture’s research, there are more than 75 million digitally
savvy investors in the U.S. with high-income, assets and education, which
Accenture refers to as “Generation D” or “Gen D.” This highly coveted investor
demographic, upon which Accenture’s survey focused, makes up 44 percent of the
online, U.S. population, aged 18-65, and represents approximately $27 trillion
in total assets.

Gen D members see investing as a viable path to building and passing wealth to
future generations, and they recognize the need for financial advice. But they
are less and less likely to view financial advisors as trusted sources. For
example, 59 percent of respondents across all generations said they had
actively sought financial advice recently, but only 40 percent had turned to a
financial advisor, according to the survey.

“The evolving investment behavior of Generation D – from baby boomers to Gen
Xers and millennials – has brought a seismic shift in the client-advisor
relationship. Wealth managers who provide transparency, education and tools
that make investing easier to understand -- and those that provide the
rationale behind their recommendations -- will be positioned to achieve
trusted-advisor status among market-leading demographics,” concluded

Accenture Wealth and Asset Management Services provides management consulting,
technology and outsourcing services to financial institutions to optimize
analytics for wealth and asset managers, improve advisor productivity, help
drive sales, reduce costs and manage risks. Its clients include eight of the
top 10 global wealth managers and seven of the top 10 global asset managers.


Accenture commissioned an online survey of 1,005 high-income, tech-savvy U.S.
investors regarding their relationships with financial advisors as part of an
integrated quantitative and qualitative study of investor attitudes and
behaviors. Respondents included 253 baby-boomer consumers age 46-70 (median
net worth $655,000) 251 Gen X consumers age 31-45 (median net worth $238,000),
and 501 millennial consumers age 21-30 (median net worth $70,000) – with an
even mix of men and women. All respondents said they have input into household
investment decisions; are current investors or intend to invest within three
years; and use social media at least every week. The survey was conducted
between August and September 2012 following focus group discussions in major
U.S. cities with baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials in July 2012.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with approximately 259,000 people serving clients in more
than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive
capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive
research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with
clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The
company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended
Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is


Melissa Volin, 267-216-1815
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