Many financial advisers are pursuing a once-overlooked market segment: early-career professionals who welcome expert advice on budgeting, financial planning and basic investment management, even if they haven’t amassed much wealth.
To attract these up-and-comers, many of them in their late 20s and early 30s, advisers are expanding their services. Just promising to help young folks invest wisely and plan for retirement may not be enough. In addition, they position themselves as life coaches and business consultants.
“We help clients plan their life pursuits, the critical items they need to increase their confidence in achieving their most valued goals and aspirations,” said Nate Baim, a certified financial planner in Portland, Ore. He works with young professionals not just on traditional financial planning but also on budgeting, student loan repayment and career benchmarking.
“We use cash flow tracking technology to help us — and the client — understand how much they’re saving and spending,” Baim said. “With student loan repayment analysis, we dive into understanding their loans and repayment options. And we help them uncover ways to optimize their career trajectory — if their current pay is competitive and how to negotiate pay.”
In advising a couple in their late 30s, Baim learned that they wanted to diversify their income by adding a side gig to their day jobs. He suggested how they could seek more flexible hours for their current employment and scrutinized their plans the additional work.
Like a business strategist, Baim urged them to pinpoint their value proposition and devise ways to harness each other’s skills, so they could maximize their self-employed income while maintaining their primary income.
Rachel Lawrence, a certified financial planner in Rochester, N.H. uses a pricing model — a flat fee — that attracts a younger demographic. She offers tiers of service at difference price points, and charges a percentage of assets under management only for a few clients with more substantial wealth.
Flat-fee pricing enables advisers to appeal to early-career professionals who tend to have limited assets to invest. Their priorities may be debt management or buying their first home rather than picking stocks.
Many advisers address those broad concerns with some specific coaching that encourages younger clients to reach new heights in every aspect of their life.
For instance, Lawrence has a longtime passion for personal growth. She gives clients access to a prequalified list of consultants (including life coaches and nutrition experts) for a set number of sessions.
“There’s a high correlation between physical wellness and financial wellness,” she said. “Mindset issues can hold people back.”
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