How to capture the $30 trillion millennial wealth transfer: A guide for wealth managers in 2023 and 2024

The largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history is underway as baby boomers pass on trillions to their millennial heirs. By 2030, millennials are expected to inherit over $30 trillion from their boomer parents. This presents a monumental opportunity for wealth managers to capture the business of the rising millennial generation. 

To attract and retain millennial clients amid the great wealth transfer, advisors must understand their unique needs and perspectives. With the oldest millennials entering their 40s in 2023, they are just reaching their prime earning and investing years. 

Wealth managers who start cultivating millennial relationships today will be poised to capitalize on the incoming assets.

Here are proactive strategies for wealth managers aiming to serve the next generation:

Embrace Digital Channels Millennials Prefer

While baby boomers may still appreciate face-to-face meetings and phone calls, tech-savvy millennials prefer digital engagement. Ensure your practice offers user-friendly apps, responsive websites, and tools for electronic document signing. 

Allow seamless access to portfolio balances and performance through online dashboards. Video conferencing can supplement in-person meetings for clients balancing busy careers and families. Prioritizing digital channels and self-service access is table stakes for attracting younger investors.

Highlight Values-Based and Sustainable Investing

Surveys consistently show millennials are drawn to investments aligned with their values. They want portfolios reflecting their environmental and social priorities. According to Morgan Stanley, over 95% of millennial investors are interested in sustainable investing. 

Ensure your practice offers ESG investment options and can articulate their financial and social impacts. Create model portfolios focused on themes like clean energy, ethical brands, or diversity and inclusion. Millennial wealth transfer means advising through a values lens.

Focus on Financial Planning, Not Just Investing

While investing accumulates wealth, thoughtful financial planning helps millennials achieve life priorities. Offer comprehensive advice spanning budgeting, debt repayment, homebuying, retirement planning, insurance, and tax optimization. 

Educate clients on setting and tracking financial goals. Discuss saving strategies for major planned expenses like weddings, family expansion, or launching a business. Financial planning cements trust and meets millennials’ long-term needs beyond investing alone.

Prioritize Low Costs and Fee Transparency

Cost-conscious millennials demand value for fees paid, seeking lower expenses when possible. Emphasize tax-advantaged strategies, highlight reasonable all-in fees, and prove additional services warrant expenses. 

Offer low-cost index funds alongside actively managed options. Proactively disclose fee arrangements without millennial clients needing to ask. Convince them of the value you provide through quantifiable results, not smoke and mirrors.

Cultivate Educational Content and Events

Millennials continually seek financial knowledge and expect advisors to instill confidence, not complexity. Create a library of articles, videos, webinars, and social media posts teaching money management basics. Host seminars on topics like homebuying, budgeting, and navigating student loans. 

Record educational workshops for on-demand viewing. Position your practice as approachable experts guiding clients, not salespeople pitching products. Educational outreach improves trust and retention.

Customize Offerings for Next-Gen Needs

While inheriting wealth, many millennials still carry student loan debt and struggle to buy their first homes. Customized services addressing their unique money challenges strengthen relationships. Provide student loan repayment guidance and low-cost first-time homebuyer programs. 

Craft budget-friendly savings plans for goals like travel, weddings, or starting a family. Offer simple IRAs alongside 401ks. Services catering to next-gen realities distinguish your advisory practice.

Diversify Client Marketing Across Channels

Millennials research across social networks, podcasts, news sites, and influencers before selecting advisors. Establish your brand’s presence by contributing articles to financial publications millennials read. Sponsor relatable podcasts and YouTube channels. Engage on 

Instagram and Twitter. 

Seek speaking opportunities at industry conferences millennials attend. Ensure your website appears in search results for your expertise areas. Omnichannel outreach intercepts millennials where they already spend time.

Highlight Your Personal Values and Passion

The previous generation cared mostly about returns. But a Morgan Stanley study found 86% of millennials believe their advisor should understand their values. Share your vision, interests, and backstory. 

Millennials want to know the human behind the advisor. 

Bring your whole self, flaws and all, to forge authentic connections. If clients align with your values, performance shortcomings face more forgiveness. Personality resonates.

Plan Creative Cross-Generational Client Events

As millennials stand to inherit, invite them plus boomer parents to joint events demonstrating your value to the entire family. Host wine tastings, golf lessons, or cooking classes. Convene discussion panels on hot topics like market volatility. Facilitate mentoring circles, allowing older clients to share career and life advice. Cross-generational forums cement your advisory role across heirs and benefactors.

The imminent $30 trillion millennial inheritance offers a game-changing growth catalyst for forward-thinking wealth management firms. Capturing this generational shift starts with understanding emerging investor priorities and proactively showcasing your value. With strategic preparation, the millennial wealth transfer can transform advisory businesses reaching out to the next generation.