The Affluent Millennial Opportunity in Singapore (and Australia and Hong Kong)

September 3, 2015

affluent millennials

The Millennial generation is already causing major changes in the finance industry, as this blog previously covered in recent posts. The revolution that is brewing is a global one, which will uproot the business models and marketing strategies of today’s financial firms and demand tremendous change to the industry as a whole.

Asia Pacific in general – and Singapore in particular -- will not escape this economic transformation driven by Millennials. Given there are 1.2 million Millennials in Singapore (or 22 percent of the total population), this generation represents a key driver of economic growth and is vital to Singapore’s prosperity.  In addition to the wealth this segment is poised to build on its own, in the coming years they will also be on the receiving end of a massive generational transfer of at least USD$41 trillion in personal wealth on a global scale.

LinkedIn and Ipsos conducted a global study of Millennials to examine their attitudes and behaviors regarding finances and to understand how they make financial decisions. The study particularly focused on Affluent Millennials, those aged 18-34 with net investable assets of more than SGD$150k.

The study findings reveal three key overarching themes for Singapore Affluent Millennials and how they interact with financial services brands:

  1. Affluent Millennials are confident, empowered and preparing for their tomorrows.
  2. Affluent Millennials are seeking to engage with financial services brands on social media.
  3. Affluent Millennials declare themselves loyal, but are open to engaging with new offerings from non-financial services brands.

Finding 1: Affluent Millennials are optimistic, empowered and preparing for their tomorrow

Optimistic and Ambitious

  • Almost 4 in 5 of Singapore’s Affluent Millennials are confident that the sacrifices they make now will pay off in the future.
  • This may derive from the shift in how Affluent Millennials are acquiring their wealth. Gone is the dependence on wages as the primary source of wealth, instead Affluent Millennials are two time more likely to gain income from their own business than their Affluent Generation X counterparts.

Empowered yet Consultative

  • When it comes to making financial and investment decisions, 90 percent of Singapore’s Affluent Millennials are confident in undertaking their own research and fact finding.
  • When signing off that decision, around 1 in 3 will go it alone, while 1 in 2 still see the value of advice from family or financial advisors to validate their independent research.

Takeaway for marketers: Affluent Millennials are hungry for information they can immediately apply to their specific financial situation. Earn trust and build relationships by delivering the balance of expert advice and encouraged independence they crave.

Finding 2: Affluent Millennials are seeking to engage with financial services brands on social media

Social Centric

  • Millennials are a social-centric generation. An impressive 90 percent of Affluent Millennials consider social networks to be a important in their financial decision-making process compared to 78 percent of Affluent GenXers.
  • Almost half (45 percent) of Affluent Millennials actively seek content from Financial Services brands on social media, while two in three are using social networks two get daily news about industries of interest and to research people and companies.

Hungry for Educational Info

  • The most sought after content types include peer opinions (73 percent), thought leadership (67 percent) and information about products (67 percent).

Takeaway for marketers: Earn credibility by leveraging social networks to provide relevant content, transforming the customer relationship by engaging with them where they want to be engaged.

Finding 3: Affluent Millennials declare themselves loyal, but are open to engaging with new offerings from non-financial services brands

Loyalty as Lip Service?

  • 89 percent of Affluent Millennials say they are very or somewhat loyal to their financial services brands.
  • However this does not necessarily translate into practice. For those with multiple accounts of the same type, less than half hold them with the same institution.

Thinking Outside the Finance Box

  • Further, three out of five Affluent Millennials are open to trying financial products or services offered by brands NOT within the finance industry. That’s 20 percent more than GenXers.
  • Top brands being considered include Apple, Google and Amazon.

Takeaway for marketers: Financial services providers should reach out to Affluent Millennials now and build relationships with them before the non-traditional competition is able to. Earn their trust and secure their loyalty now!

So those are the key takeaways from the research on Affluent Millennials in Singapore. The research also dove deep into other regions of Asia Pacific, specifically Australia and Hong Kong. For insight into these geographies, you can view an infographic on Affluent Millennials in Australia and another infographic on that cohort in Hong Kong.

A key takeaway of the research is that financial firms that start appealing to these new and different demands of Affluent Millennials now are most likely to succeed in winning their business and securing their loyalty into the future. To succeed among Affluent Millennials, firms must meet their new and increasing expectations for technology, services and experiences. Firms that flex to appeal to these new demands and cast a shared vision for the future will succeed in winning over this powerful generation.

Download the 2015 Singapore Affluent Millennials Research Study and find out more about Singapore's Affluent Milennials.

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