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    • Millennials and financial planners

      Some financial planners are finding it difficult to attract millennials, according to a recent report from USA Today.


      It's not that they are unqualified to do so, it's that many millennials are looking for a planner who knows how to get his or her message across to young adults. That's because millennials prefer to work with a financial planner who has a firm grasp on their generation.

      "The old brick and mortar office with the guy in the suit, millennials are not interested in that,'' Eric Roberge, founder of a financial firm that goes after millennials, told USA Today. "Their eyes glaze over. They already have their idea about what I do, and they don't want any part of it. When I lead with 'I help professionals in their 20s and 30s use money as a tool to live a life they love,' they open up.''

      Roberge said millennials have a surplus of concerns about their finances but many aren't sure where to start because they never learned about finances, budgeting or goal setting in school. Roberge said he tries to attract millennials by stating that money is a life tool that can be used for pleasure and major life events.

      Rachel Lake, a 32-year-old home loan specialist, tried working with financial planners in the past, but she never developed a strong bond with any until she started working with Roberge's company.

      "It's more like a partnership,'' Lake told USA Today. "You want your personal trainer, your CPA and you want your financial adviser but I want somebody to be there more as a coach than as someone telling me what I should be doing. Because I don't feel like I'm on a traditional path, and I don't think I'm alone in that."

      Lake added that her generation wants to be viewed as individuals rather than just a cog in the corporate wheel.

      Disconnect between millennials and financial advisers
      The average age of a financial adviser is around 50 years old, according to a 2014 survey from Cerulli Associates. Jessica Rabe, a research associate at Cerulli, said financial advisers who have two decades or more of experience compared to millennials are struggling to understand exactly what makes young adults tick, which is why so many financial advisers seem to be missing the boat with millennials.

      "I've seen a huge disconnect between financial advisers and young investors," Rabe told MarketWatch.

      Part of the problem is the changing economic landscape. Many older financial advisers weren't looking to start their careers during the Great Recession or were hindered by severe debt from student and personal loans, two problems many millennials faced. Millennials are also delaying life events such as marriage, having kids and owning a home, which some older financial advisers might not fully comprehend, according to MarketWatch.

      Finding a financial planner
      The Wall Street Journal recommended starting with a certified financial planner rather than a financial adviser. Whereas a financial adviser is a broad term encompassing anyone who advised people on their finances, a certified financial planner must be certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

      A certified financial planner must work in the best interest of their client due to fiduciary responsibility, something that not all financial advisers have to abide by.

      Typically, the Journal reported it's best to avoid commission-based advisers because they might be inclined to make moves to improve their fee. Instead, look for a planner who charges an hourly rate because it's fairly simple and straightforward.

The Journal stated many experienced advisers who do regular hourly work often do so because they like working with younger clients who can only afford a certain block of time.

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