Gen D: Life insurers who know how attitudes differ can regain investors’ trust

The good news is Generation D members understand the importance of investing. The bad news? Their confidence in financial advisors is eroding. Consider this: 59 percent of Gen D investors actively sought financial advice recently—only 40 percent looked to their financial advisor for this advice.

In my last post, I looked at why life insurers need to get familiar with Gen D investors. Now let’s take a closer look at what life insurers need to know about this important group.

Investment attitudes significantly differ by age

Accenture Gen D research revealed definable differences in the attitudes of Millennials, Gen-Xers and Boomers when it comes to investing:

  • Millennials are skeptical. While this group is the most determined to pass wealth on to their families, they’re also the most skeptical. Life insurers take note: While 71 percent of Millennials are currently investing, only 22 percent do so through an advisor.
  • Gen-Xers are jaded. Gen-Xers within Gen D are the least confident, most jaded and least interested in learning about investing. Their use of social media is less than the Millennials, but greater than the Boomers.
  • Boomers are trusting. It should come as no surprise, 99 percent of Boomers surveyed are current investors. They enjoy a trusted relationship with their financial advisors. And while they do not perceive the use of social/digital as critical, they want to keep up.

Life insurers will have greater success if they recognize the differences between the three age groups of Generation D—and adapt their practices accordingly. Developing flexible retirement products to suit different customer needs, like the ones shared here by my colleague Mark Halverson, can be critical to achieving greater success.

Next week I’ll look at how investors are increasing their control.

To learn more about Gen D investors, download Generation D: An emerging and important investor segment (pdf; opens in a new window).

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