Dear bankers, young investors need guidance

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
September 13, 2019, 7:56 PM GMT+0

Young people need help with their investments.

More than half, according to YouGov Plan and Track data, say they are confused by financial matters.

Younger Americans (18-34 years old) were more likely to say they agreed with the statement “financial matters confuse me” than were people over the age of 34, according to data that was reviewed in September.

Confusion isn’t the whole story, however. A portion of this group, which includes Millennials and some GenZ, say they like to take risks with their cash. A little less than half (42%) of this group said they don’t mind taking risks with their money, and about a third (35%) said they agreed with the statement: I like to take risks on the stock market.

That means there’s a sizable chunk of the younger demo that is willing to get creative with capital, and that means there’s an opportunity for banks to take a leading role in their financial lives. According to 2010 Census figures there's just shy of 100 million 18 to 34 year olds and YouGov’s sample size for 18 to 34 year olds in this story is more than 86,000.

Here’s the really good news for the finance industry. This same group of people is eager to get help. According to YouGov’s Plan and Track data, this group of younger people is more likely to agree with the statement: I don’t make financial decisions without talking to a professional.

That means banks have a willing customer base just looking for the proper guidance on where to make the best investments, and they’re willing to take some risks with their capital, a position that may actually be suitable for their life circumstances.

Younger people, especially Millennials, could be open to hearing a message from an investment firm that attempts to marry these two concepts: we're here to help, and to help your money grow more quickly with strategic risk.

This same group, which has grown up in a digital world, may be more open than older groups to embrace technological advances in the financial advice sector, and be willing to do more business by app and website.

But no matter the approach, it appears this group is literally asking for help.