Acquiring and Serving Gen X and Y Clients: How 3 Firms Retain and Increase AUM

By James Carney, CEO, ByAllAccounts on Friday, November 18th, 2011

The numbers are very impressive. The demographic group known as Gen X and Gen Y —basically, your clients’ children—are projected to account for about $28 trillion in investable assets in the U.S. by 2018. That presents a huge opportunity for advisors, and means you’d be wise to develop a strategy for acquiring and serving these investors, if you haven’t started to do so already.

I outline several strategies in a whitepaper I recently wrote: Build Relationships Across Generations: Cater to Younger Clients to Retain and Increase AUM. In doing so, I tap into the expertise of three firms that specialize in serving Gen X and Y clients—LotusGroup Advisors, Alliance Wealth Management, and Investor Solutions. The white paper passes along the advice of key advisors at these companies and may serve as a good starting point for you as you approach and cultivate Gen X and Gen Y clients.

Who exactly are Gen X and Gen Y investors?

As the whitepaper outlines, definitions vary. But it can generally be said the Gen X individuals were born from the late 60s to the late 70s, while Gen Y were born from the 80s to the early 90s. Taken together, they include more than 130 million people, and provide an opportunity even greater than the Baby Boomer generation.

So how do savvy advisory firms bring Gen X and Y clients on board? And how do they retain and grow them?

The experts speak: What you need to do to succeed with Gen X and Y.

A quick sampling of the many suggestions that our experts and I provide on acquiring younger clients:

  • Let clients know you can help their children. Even if you’re simply acting as a sounding board for the children’s financial concerns and questions, you’re still adding value to the existing relationship and laying the cornerstone for building a relationship with the new generation.

  • Speak to the specific issues of Gen X and Y, whether it’s paying off student loans and other debt, or being newly married and struggling with budget issues.

  • Let them get into the weeds. Your prospects want to know what it would be like to be a client before becoming one. Facilitate this “tire kicking” by introducing them to members of your team or to existing Gen X and Y clients.

  • Leverage social media. Craft a strategy for using the most popular social media to reach out to your audience—blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, among others.

There are many tips as well, available to you when you download the whitepaper. I encourage you to read it and to intensify your efforts to attract and serve younger clients. 

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