Can Technology Take Place of An Adviser for Millennials?

Penn Mutual

By Penn Mutual | July 11, 2018

As a millennial, the thought of trying to figure out how I’m going pay back my loans, save for my future and achieve my personal life goals keeps me up at night more than I would like to admit, but I find comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one feeling this way. According to the 2018 Bank of America Millennial Report, one in four millennials often worry about their finances, and one in three named ‘not having enough money saved’ as a top stressor.

However, the often-used quip “there’s an app for that” can actually help in this situation. Growing up in an age where technology has influenced the way we bank, budget, and even how we invest our money has demonstrated just how convenient technology is when it comes to managing finances. There are banking apps that track where your money was spent to help you reassess your spending; saving apps that can round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the spare change into a savings account; and platforms that make investing so easy that a baby could do it.

With all the tools available, some may get lulled into thinking that we can figure out our finances on our own, but when it comes to the big picture, technology can’t solve for everything. One of the many things that I learned by working in the financial services industry is that a financial adviser can react and respond to unexpected life changes ─ technology cannot.

When it comes time to getting married, buying a first home, expecting a baby, and saving for retirement, we might lose focus or get off track with our finances due to the amount of time and money those big milestones can cost. And not only are these milestones expensive, but they take an emotional toll as well. With the help of a financial professional, you can better manage your finances to make sure that you’ll be able to reach your goals so that you can focus more on spending time with family and friends without having to worry about unexpected events.

But then there’s that pesky stereotype that millennials prefer to work with technology rather than have human interaction. According the 2017 Wells Fargo Millennial Survey, twice as many millennials would want their adviser to call them on their birthday than baby boomers, and 39% of millennials are more likely to want to work with an adviser when they choose to invest ─ debunking that myth.

And speaking of birthdays, although it’s a nice gesture for your adviser to wish you a happy birthday, it also might be a good time to check on your financial plan just to make sure that you’re still on track to meet your goals. Having an annual review with your adviser is crucial in ensuring that you have updated all your financial documents, including making sure that your spouse is added as your beneficiary for your life insurance policy and retirement accounts, and that you’re putting away enough money to meet your long-term financial goals. Having a trusted relationship with someone who you can count on to properly manage your plan, ask honest questions to, and learn from can add more value than you might think.


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