Millennial Minute: Here's What We Know About Affluent Millennials

November 30, 2015


Welcome to Millennial Minute, a new series in which our resident Millennial, Alex Rynne, takes a deep dive into trends, research, and everything B2B marketers need to know about this increasingly powerful and influential buying group. Our last post covered 5 reasons why every marketing team needs a millennial. This post outlines three takeaways from recent LinkedIn research which explores the affluent millennial mindset.

Millennials are, of course, just as diverse and complicated as any other demographic. We’re also just hitting our stride career-wise, with expendable income and financial independence for the first time in our lives. Millennials are a huge market—but to reach them, you have to understand them.

LinkedIn and Ipsos just completed a study of 9,200 affluent millennials around the world, with over 1,500 respondents from the United States. In the U.S., “affluent millennials” means those with $100,000 or more of non-real-estate assets. With a purchasing power of $1 trillion annually, this group's buying power and influence are certainly on the rise. Read on for three high level takeaways for those seeking to understand the mindset of the 15.5 million affluent millennials in the Unites States today.

We Have Unique Ideas about the Future of Money

About 32% of affluent millennials think we’re headed for a cashless society, with currency-free transactions. At the very least, that means we hardly ever carry paper money. A swipe or a tap should be all you need.

About a quarter of affluent millennials think we are eventually headed for a sharing-based economy, and 27% think banks will no longer be primary financial institutions in the future. Whether they’re replaced by decentralized currency like BitCoin or another model we haven’t conceived of yet, millennials aren’t as tied to the idea of a bank as the place your money lives.

Affluent millennials are expecting a revolution in the way our economy works—which may be why the thought of another financial disaster doesn’t faze them. Well over half say they expect a financial crash is coming, but 47% still say they’re confident in the country’s future economic growth.

We Value Financial Planning

Despite the looming possibility of a financial crisis, the majority of affluent millennials believe that making sacrifices now—saving versus spending—will pay off in the future. Sixty-six percent of them save a quarter of their paycheck, while 35% save half of their income.

And they’re not just letting that money sit in a savings account. Thirty-seven percent think a financial advisor is a “must-have,” while 50% think it’s at least a “nice-to-have.”

We Have Different Criteria for a Trusted Financial Partner

Affluent millennials are willing to entrust their finances to a traditionally non-financial brand. Sixty-nine percent say they’re likely to try financial services from a new source—they value solutions, not products. That explains why 64% say they trust the financial institutions they work with. They go for the institution that best fits their needs, whether it’s a traditional big name in finance or not.

The research also shows there are five unique factors that millennials take into account when finding a financial institution—each of them is two times as important as they are to Gen X:

  1. Social Presence – The company has accounts on various social platforms
  2. Relationship – The first institution they had an account with
  3. Family Influence – Family members use the institution
  4. Social Proof – Company has positive online reputation
  5. Purpose – Company has a mission they care about

As you can see, affluent millennials are optimistic, progressive and prefer to think outside of the traditional finance box. Their attitudes about money may seem a bit exotic now, but they are rapidly becoming the new norm.

Affluent millennials value institutions that are solution-focused and are willing to take the time to invest in building relationships. In the midst of an irrelevant content overload, it is more important than ever to provide the first (and best) solution to get their attention.

For a complete summary of the research, download Winning Affluent Millennials: How This New Power Persona is Reshaping The Finance Industry.