Gen X & Y – not your father’s millionaires.

Posted On October 24, 2013

Every year, Fidelity Investments publishes its Millionaire Outlook survey, which analyzes the investing attitudes and behaviors of millionaires. And while the Millennials (or Gen Y as the survey refers to them) are not having the easiest time right out of the college gates, they do have some showing among the young millionaire ranks.

Interestingly enough, the study groups Gen X and Gen Y collectively as “young millionaires” with investment traits significantly different than the Boomer+ millionaires.  It is sometimes thought that class, or privilege, trumps the generational norms.  That is, individuals at the far ends of the socioeconomic spectrum are less affected by the societal trends that create generational norms.  Their behavior, collectively, is more consistent year over year.  By identifying discrepancies between older and younger millionaires, this survey opens up some conversation and question around those assumptions.

The survey also provides some insight for those seeking to serve the next generation of wealth accumulators. The good news for financial advisors is that 61% of young millionaires are willing to seek the guidance of others and they are active, interested investors.  Despite the increasing accessibility of self-directed investing through online trading companies, the individuals who already have investable assets are still interested in relationships and actively managed accounts.  In fact, because many of these young millionaires got their start through inheritances and most are planning to continue that tradition, and the support of a strong, family-oriented advisor may well become a decades-long client relationship. They may not have the overall assets of the Boomer millionaires, but today’s young millionaires plan to work hard for their money and make their money work hard for them.

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