Millennials really are different from their elders when it comes to putting faith in use of smartphones to handle complex financial matters, a survey finds.
A study of of individuals across the globe finds that almost half of Millennials want to plan their financial lives over a smartphone rather than through more traditional routes.
The Legg Mason 2017 Global Investment Survey assessed views of 15,300 individuals around the world across several age groups; Millennials (aged 18-35), generation X (aged 36-52) and baby-boomers (aged 53-71). Financial advisors may have to learn to adapt to the technological age instead of traditional face-to-face services providing, as 46 per cent of UK Millennials said they would want to use their smartphones to do all of their financial planning – the highest in Europe. In contrast, just 13 per cent of baby-boomers would feel comfortable with this approach to financial planning.
This dramatically different approach to doing business is mirrored across the globe, with 47 per cent of Millennials and 22 per cent of baby-boomers want to use smartphones.
While 28 per cent of all UK respondents said they want to do planning via their smartphone, 45 per cent said they do not. This is the reverse in Asia, where 47 per cent were in favour of smartphone use, and only 15 per cent were not. Over in the US, it was more equal, with 42 per cent sided with using their smartphone, whereas 39 per cent were against the idea.
However, only 16 per cent of the UK said they were in favour of either technology-only financial planning which has no human interaction, or a proposition that is technology-led but has some human interaction supporting it. This was only slightly ahead of the European average of 15 per cent.
“Millennials are increasingly tech-savvy and this is seeping into every element of their lives, including the way they approach even complex financial needs,” said Justin Eede, head of Europe and Americas distribution at Legg Mason. “Services that have traditionally always been delivered face-to-face are now becoming automated, and the use of smartphones for financial planning is another step in that direction.
“Indeed these statistics reveal the extent to which the demand for fully digital solutions is growing among the younger generation and it will be interesting to see how financial services businesses respond to the challenges this presents.
“Nonetheless, while the desire is there among some segments of the UK to adopt a digital approach to financial planning, only 16 per cent said they were in favour of either technology-only financial planning which has no human interaction, or a proposition that is technology-led but has some human interaction supporting it.”
WealthBriefingAsia recently reported a study by RBC Wealth Management which found that Millennials start their financial planning a lot earlier than previous generations.