Investors can come from all walks of life. While it's easy to become accustomed to a certain age group or demographic in your practice, knowing what to look for when taking on clients out of your comfort zone can be a step toward success. Here's a few groups that may help you discover clients you may not have considered.
Americans born 1925 - 1945
Description: This generation weathered the Great Depression and WWII, defining them with a generally patriotic, teamwork-oriented attitude. They own 3/4ths of the nation's wealth and lead some of the most powerful companies in America.
Potential financial concerns: High personal healthcare costs, long life expectancy
General investment attitude: Conservative, risk-averse
Americans born 1946 - 1964
Description: Boomers enjoyed increased educational, travel, and economic opportunities compared to the Traditionalists before them. The middle class developed substantially in this generation, as well as a beginning disparity growing over time between the earning potential of those able to access higher education and those who could not.
Potential financial concerns: retirement costs, caring for aging parents
General investment attitude: experienced, aware
Americans born 1965 - 1980
Description: Marked with international and political turbulence, Generation X grew up with a substantial decrease in optimism as they weathered Watergate, the Clinton scandal, Three Mile Island, and the Iranian hostage crisis. The term "latchkey kids" was coined to describe their resilient self-sufficiency and overall autonomy-focused existence.
Potential financial concerns: aging parents, paying off debt, rapidly rising education costs for children
General investment attitude: reserved but savvy
Generation Y / Millennials
Americans born 1981 - 2000
Description: This generation is defined by rapid technological change, tolerance of difference, and the advent of the Internet and the connectivity it inspires. Surprisingly, this is also the first generation expected to be less successful economically than their parents since the Traditionalists.
Potential financial concerns: distrust of the stock market, low financial literacy
General investment attitude: deeply skeptical, gun-shy, independent
Generation Z / Nexters
Americans born 2001 - present
Description: Also known as Digital Natives, Gen Z is a generation accustomed to easily and instantly accessible communication methods. Cell phones became available and relatively cheap to obtain, allowing this generation to seek out knowledge for themselves via wide social networks and an always-open Internet.
Potential financial concerns: affording retirement, saving for college, student loan debt, unemployment
General investment attitude: skeptical/learning