The face of investing is rapidly changing in America. Today 1 in 4 millennials have saved over $100,000 and about 1/3 report that they started investing before age 21. While younger investors have more money and start younger, they often don’t feel like they fit into the mold of traditional investing strategies. If this sounds like you, you may be wondering why you would even consider hiring a financial adviser.
Desire for Social Responsibility in Investing
While traditionally companies at the forefront of technology have been popular with younger investors, today young investors are interested in companies who align with their environmental, social and political ideals. While investors who lean towards companies with ethical practices are putting their money where their mouth is so to speak, social responsibility is very subjective. Socially Responsible Investments (SRI’s) might be faith based or may avoid controversial exposures such as tobacco, firearms or high carbon footprints. Some SRI’s will focus on sustainability, others focus on social justice or might only invest in companies with a reputation for treating employees well.
Socially Responsible Investing can be difficult to quantify. It evolves constantly and new trends emerge. Since the criteria is very subjective, you could be leaving some great investing opportunities on the table. On the other hand, you could be investing in companies who aren’t as socially responsible as they claim. Limiting the scope of investments often can mean a direct impact to return and can affect diversification. The right advisor can help you navigate this vague and often confusing investment category.
The Rise and Fall of the Meme Stocks
In 2020 and 2021, meme stock mania gripped the world of online investing drawing attention to companies such as GameStop, Blockbuster, AMC Entertainment and Bed Bath and Beyond. Many of these companies were otherwise considered “has-been” or doomed companies, but they gained cult-like followings because of online chatter. Social Media platforms such as Reddit and Facebook became hotbeds of chatter where investors planned stock squeezes. They purposefully planned to drive up the share price of these low-quality stocks to unexpected prices, then sell them quickly while prices were high. Online brokers such as Robinhood facilitated easy to access trading platforms that allowed meme investors to act quickly to trade these companies in hopes of cashing in big on the rise in price. While a few did, more people found systems jammed and were unable to execute trades quick enough to beat falling prices. It is speculated that most of these meme stock investors were ages 18-24. Younger investors can fall prey to online chatter and can be lured into investing into risky investments with little knowledge about what they are investing in. Because of the fast nature of this type of investing, investors find themselves placing bets rather than making investments based upon a solid investment strategy. Using an advisor can help you avoid investing that is based on emotion or has unnecessary risk.
Robo Advisors can be appealing for younger investors because they are low cost and offer investors the ability to answer a few questions and then direct money into automated investment strategies. While these options are perhaps better than going at it alone, they lack customized advice and are based on past market algorithms. Past market trends do not necessarily predict future market conditions. A solid strategy will be forward looking and will include analysis on current economic conditions. Without a human at the helm to ask the important question, you are unlikely to really dial down what you need to do to accomplish your long-term goals or make the necessary adjustments as your life changes along the way.
Not Your Parent’s Advisor
Today’s financial industry has changed, and these changes are forcing advisors to embrace the desires of today’s investors or be left behind. Fee structures and commissions have evolved. Old fashioned financial products such as loaded mutual funds have been replaced with open trading platforms giving access to ETF’s, NFT’s and individual stocks.
Advisors today that have embraced technology have access to client portals, planning software and online tools. You may be able to meet via web meetings and even sign paperwork electronically. Whether you are at the beach or at your home office, today’s advisors have plenty of options to make investing convenient.
While younger investors may not think they have much in common with prior generations of investors, some things don’t change. All investors navigate risks both in investment portfolios and in their financial situations. Most investors have an end goal such as retirement and most investors will face different economic conditions and both good and bad market conditions.
DIY investors often do not know what risks are lurking in their portfolios. They often lack proper diversification or simply take far more risk than what they need to. Some investors have every good intent to do formalized retirement planning but may not be saving enough or using the most tax efficient strategies yet are completely unaware that they are not on track.
The fact is, whether you have $10,000 or $10,000,000, most people find that having a clear strategy guided by the right professional, brings a lot of peace of mind and allows you to focus on what matters most to you like family, home and career.
Investment Advisor Representative
Rebecca joined the firm in 2011 as an Investment Advisor Representative. In this role, she works with clients to manage their investment assets and help them obtain their financial objectives. Rebecca brings a great deal of experience to the team having worked for several years at Marshall & IIsley Bank and MetLife. She earned a Masters of Business Administration degree (with an emphasis on finance) from Concordia University.
Advisors Management Group, Inc. is a registered investment adviser whose principal office is located in Wisconsin. Opinions expressed are those of AMG and are subject to change, not guaranteed, and should not be considered recommendations to buy or sell any security. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns, and investing involves multiple risks, including, but not limited to, the risk of permanent losses. Please do not send orders via e-mail as they are not binding and cannot be acted upon. Please be advised it remains the responsibility of our clients to inform AMG of any changes in their investment objectives and/or financial situation. This commentary is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to AMG’s investment advisory/management services. Any subsequent, direct communication by AMG with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available for your review upon request.