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Gen X investors stand out from both their younger and older counterparts in terms of priorities, preferences and concerns, and provide RIAs and fee-based advisors with a huge opportunity to tap into a valuable client segment, according to a study released Monday by Jefferson National, a Nationwide business.
The study showed that 52% of Gen X investors do not have an advisor, and are least likely to seek advice even though they are in their prime earning years, 37 to 52, and are poised to build and inherit $22 trillion in financial assets by 2030, up from $5 trillion in 2015.
“Being in their prime earning years and next in line for inheritance, Gen X is a vital segment for advisors to target in order to enhance profitability and set their firms up for future success,” Craig Hawley, head of Nationwide’s advisory solutions business, said in a statement.
“And each year, successful advisors are most likely to say that Gen X will be their primary target over the next 12 months.”
A recent report discusses why advisors need to be working with Gen Xers.
The Jefferson National study is based on a Harris Poll-conducted online survey last spring among 779 employed financial advisors and 817 adult investors who were primary or shared financial decision makers with investable assets of more than $100,000.
Of particular note for advisors was the survey finding that 30% of Gen Xers said their number one reason for having an advisor was concern about saving enough for retirement. Their second main reason — feeling confident in their financial future — trailed by 10 percentage points.
In comparison, 36% each of baby boomers and older investors and 27% of millennials cited feeling confident in their financial future as the number one reason for seeking financial advice, and only 15% of millennials and 12% of boomers said retirement saving was their chief reason.
Jefferson National pointed out that compared with boomers and older investors, Gen Xers were much more concerned about financing children’s education, and far less so with protecting assets and taxes.
When choosing an advisor, 41% of Gen X respondents said experience mattered most. Rounding out the top three factors, 26% said personalized advice for a holistic financial picture and 20% cited a fee-based fiduciary standard.
Similarly, 40% of Gen X investors said face-to-face meetings were their preferred form of communication, far ahead of all other forms of communication, such as phone calls and email.
Jefferson National said regular, in-person meetings were the most effective way for advisors to learn more about Gen Xers’ needs. “To effectively attract and retain Gen X investors, advisors must align with their top priorities.”
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