Wealthy millennials decline financial advisers' services: survey

Just 47% of multimillionaires ages 18 to 34 use an adviser: U.S. Trust

May 28, 2015 @ 12:01 am

By Trevor Hunnicutt

More than half the wealthiest young Americans do not use financial advisers, according to a survey released Thursday, and wealth managers may be missing opportunities to discuss health, family and financial values with those and other potential clients.

Just 47% of multimillionaires ages 18 to 34 reported using the services of a wealth manager, broker, financial planner or private banker.

The results came from an online survey of 640 U.S. adults with more than $3 million in investible assets, excluding their primary residence. It was commissioned by U.S. Trust, a wealth management unit of Bank of America Corp., which is based in Charlotte, N.C.

The preference of some well-heeled millennials not to do business with a financial adviser comes even as they look to invest in more esoteric investment strategies and as many of their families say they haven't had transparent discussions about money.


Two-thirds of moneyed baby-boomers, aged 51 to 69, and about the same number of millennials reported that they made little or no disclosure to their children about their wealth. At the same time, little more than a fifth all the investors described their children as well-prepared to handle the wealth they stand to inherit.

The survey also found a potential opportunity for advisers to reach out to younger investors: 43% of the youngest age cohort expressed an interest in social, impact or corporate-governance investment strategies, far higher than their older counterparts.

And between 37% and 55% of millennials said they would consider adding some kind of alternative investments to their portfolios, depending on the particular asset.

At least a tenth of wealthy investors overall said they do not discuss with their advisers — but would like to discuss — issues, such as philanthropy, credit, spreading values around wealth to their family, elder care, plans for increased longevity and the low-interest rate environment.

The survey titled "Insights on Wealth and Worth" has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9%. It was conducted in January by Phoenix Marketing International, a market-research firm, as stock prices fell amid surging volatility.


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