me the most at the LINC Conference

I was shocked to see this at LINC 2020

  1. What element struck Luke and me the most at the LINC Conference?
  2. Millennials will carry the financial industry
  3. Hire young talent to attract young clients
  4. Gen Z and Millennials did not inherit their grandparent’s work ethic – they changed it
  5. Collaboration is where life and work meet

What element struck Luke and me the most at the LINC Conference?


More than 3,200 RIAs and Executives attended the conference; millennial attendees comprised at least 30%.

Millennials will carry the financial industry

The presentations on the calendar proved that TD Ameritrade is working to harness the power of a younger generation leading the Financial Industry. And you, dear RIA reader, need to be too.

Advisors are not only preparing for the baby-boomer and retiree demographic – that money is in the bank. Growth will be measured by how well financial firms build relationships and brand recognition among Millennials (born after 1980) and Generation Z (born after 2000). They will receive, perhaps, the most significant intergenerational wealth transfer in history.

Some Millennials will turn 40 in the first half of this decade. If you are neglecting how your business will attract young talent and young clients in 20 years, then you are behind or dead in the water.

Hire young talent to attract young clients

Building a growing business focused on the future is more than just finding young clients. Generation Z and Millennials will also, soon, inherit the leadership and management positions at RIA firms. It is inevitable.  But there is a pivotal link between attracting clients and young talent – you need both to make money.

Millennials show they prefer in-person consultations to Robo-advising, but they also don’t want their money managed by their grandparents. Putting your young associate advisor into client-facing positions can make your business attractive to their peers.

Read more about Millennial investing preferences HERE

Millennials, especially, are being told that they must switch jobs every three years. So, firms need to use their young talent to their full potential and invest in their education while reminding them of their value to the firm. If you don’t, then your young talent will leave to find an employer who does. Period. It’s that simple, according to Scott Zimmer, the Generational Expert at Bridgeworks.

Gen Z and Millennials did not inherit their grandparent’s work ethic – they changed it

Every generation seems to be stereotyped by their work ethic, but the work-life relationship is evolving. Millennials and Gen Z prefer full merging their professional and personal social circles.

Boomers found success through long hours and sacrifice. They put in the time and patiently reaped the reward (or Wall Street stole their savings). Regardless, Zimmer sees a problem with hanging on to this mentality because younger generations do not abide by this trade-off.

The blood-sweat-tears work ethic still dominates management and can be a death sentence for static-mindset, hierarchical businesses. Millennials value the integration of work and life. They watched their parents fight their entire youth and miss soccer games to build a career that should have allowed them to live out their older years in peace. Instead, they saw their foreclosures in their neighborhoods and retirements lost.

A growing RIA business attracts workplace talent, and customers focused on the future.

Zimmer finds that looking past stereotypes reveals Millennials and Gen Z to be hard, more productive workers but require a different set of inputs to yield results.

Collaboration is where life and work meet

Younger generations need fewer formal environments to thrive with feedback occurring in real-time. It is no longer par for the course to expect young talent to wait around for a 6-month review because it leads to undue anxiety and restless-job-syndrome.

Here’s one more critical error: assuming Millennials and Gen Z are entitled and will mature into the routine, status-quo operations.

First, Millennials are not responsible for the media and content that shaped them during their formative years. Moreover, they are making pragmatic choices. 88% of 2017 college grads reported that they chose their major because of its employment potential (Zimmer). But, they intend to use their major for different purposes.

Zimmer segmented Millennials to distinguish their priorities because the 2007 financial crisis was more formative for late Millennials. Early Millennials value autonomy, and younger Millennials prioritize financial stability. While 82% preferred employers with social awareness, they ultimately want to feel valued in their workplace, achieve milestones, and be understood in a workplace through open and honest communication.

Is that too much to ask for? With 40 hours every week to spend working, isn’t balance what we all want? The live-to-work mentality is over and, I say, let the workplace burdens of that era follow those who stand by them – into their grave. If your firm isn’t prepared to provide an accommodating work environment for young talent, then it will lay alongside them. #RIP

You can find content related to growing businesses and marketing for the 21st Century at our blog, Yon, Rixtrema’s CEO, chatted about how to work more effectively in an interview Erik Sobakken a CPA growth consultant.

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