Panicked Millennials Turn Here For Investment Advice
Scarred by the Great Recession and burdened with student debt, few Millennials are in the mood or able to seek out a traditional financial advisor. But they still need financial advice.
Hence the advent of new and unconventional approaches that attempt to help 20-30 year olds start saving and investing. These range from the largely free or inexpensive services offered by financial service providers, including those that hipsters tend to shy away from, to podcasts and blog posts hosted and written by financially savvy young people who work hard to win over a company. generation of skeptics.
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The twenty-five “always go somewhere looking for information,” says Stefanie O’Connell, 29, whose blog posts about personal finance from her perspective as a young actress coping in New York brought her. to sign a book publishing contract earlier this year. O’Connell blogged for Northwestern Mutual, Barclaycard and hosted a “Millennials & Money Trivia Night” for Capital One COF,
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Northwestern Mutual has a personal finance site, the Mint Grad, for students and recent graduates. The site features young adult bloggers who have experience managing their student loans or getting out of credit card debt. They seem more genuine and less judgmental than older advisers, says Emily Holbrook, director of the personal youth market at Northwestern Mutual.
In search of credibility
“This peer-to-peer contact and content is really important,” says Holbrook. “It really gives a ton of credibility.” Such messages can help lure young adults to Northwestern Mutual’s doorstep, she says, and potentially attract customers for life insurance, a commodity, by focusing on how it can benefit them. today instead of just 50 years.
MassMutual Financial Group has created a sort of social club he calls the Society of Grownups, which has its own physical space in the Boston area with light wood furniture and an outdoor atmosphere that is more like a friend’s loft. than at a bank. Young people in their twenties and thirties can choose from a variety of courses and programs offered on the site. These include dinner parties where financial planners lead discussions on topics such as the similarities between a good wine and a good investment, networking events, and one-on-one meetings with certified financial planners. .
The company uses a combination of word of mouth, social media and advertising, including on local subways, to attract young people. Typically, classes attract at least six students and are limited to 12. Classes that cover less complicated topics, such as travel advice, cost around $ 10. On average, six to eight events are organized each week, with prices varying depending on the level of information. Networking events, which tend to attract 20 to 30 people, are generally free. Events that include in-depth advice from a financial planner, as well as food and wine, cost around $ 40.
Karen Carr, a 27-year-old certified financial planner from the Society of Grownups, hosts some of the biggest events and meets with clients who sign up for one-on-one sessions. The question she hears the most: “Am I going to pay off student loans until the day I die?” Individual sessions cost $ 20 for 20 minutes and $ 100 for 90 minutes. Planners are not allowed to sell products, says Nondini Naqui, CEO of Society of Grownups.
Some of the millennials Carr helps save money, she says, but tend to have somewhat immediate, lifestyle-focused goals, like finding money to travel. “It’s not just about accumulating wealth,” she adds.
The ability to integrate financial advice into the issues that commonly face young people is part of what gives Erin Lowry’s blog, Broke Millennial, its motto. His blog has been featured by CBS Sunday Morning, USA Today, Yahoo !, Reuters and others.
Relationships and emotions are common. She presented one of her posts as a love letter from the scholarship to millennials to convince them to take a little risk, she says. Another, titled “Getting Bareback Financially With Your Partner,” focused on how she and her boyfriend approached the topic of her student debt, with an eye on how this debt might affect their plans. of couple.
“I love getting people to learn more about money,” says Lowry, who has a second job writing and editing blog posts for Magnify Money, a financial comparison site. She has also written articles for the credit reporting company Experian EXPGY,
and H&R Block HRB tax preparer,
Farnoosh Torabi, 35, host of the “So Money” podcast series, keeps her personal finance message free from substantive investment strategies. Instead, she interviews pundits and celebrities, like fashion personality Tim Gunn, on how they approach financial health. She says millennials appreciate advice that is more than just tips or quick calculations they could google search. Aspirants between the ages of 20 and 30 are looking for ways to sort out their emotions about money, Torabi says. Hearing candid stories from guests about how they overcame some of their biggest money problems helps his listeners make their own money decisions.
“It’s not really about the numbers on the show, it’s about the behaviors,” Torabi explains. His podcast, launched in January, is on track to surpass 1.5 million downloads by the end of the year.
Among the apps offering financial advice, Stash-it aims to save money and is aimed at young women. Users set savings goals and deadlines, then the app calculates how much they need to save each week to meet those milestones. The app offers its users tips such as limiting ATM withdrawals to once a week to practice budgeting.
App creator Helen Bui, 35, says she received her own wake-up call about money while working in her twenties in New York City when, despite her dynamism and job full time, she found herself living a paycheck for paycheck. She realized that things like multiple sushi dinners each week were luxuries she couldn’t afford and had to compromise. She says that Stash-it was launched in Apple Inc. AAPL,
app store on October 20 and that so far downloads are increasing by 50% per week.
Digit, a robotic savings tool, also prompts users, who are on average 27 years old, to think more about saving. Company CEO Ethan Bloch, 30, said the inspiration for the service, which links users’ bank accounts and periodically hides small sums from them, came in part from seeing his friends working very hard. hard for high paying jobs. but still have a hard time getting out of student loan or credit card debt.
When users reach their savings goals, they receive congratulatory text messages containing celebrity photos and comments such as “It’s raining savings.”
According to Bloch, “we are activating a customer segment that is not really well addressed by traditional banks.”