2020 has seen a huge rise in the number of young people investing in stocks and shares ISAs. But how many IFAs are really benefiting from this wave of young investment? Not a huge amount, according to Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog, and author of the upcoming book, Own It!
Instead she suggests that the main beneficiaries have been, and continue to be, platforms and investment apps (as well as the young people themselves.)
There is a massive investment gap in the UK, and Bain notes it is simply too expensive for many young people to afford full-service advice, and even when it is free, many young people simply do not know where to go to access it.
Bain was talking to IFA Magazine ahead of her keynote speech, Own It: helping young people invest their way to a better future, at Intergen 2020, a 360 view of the wealth, tax and estate planning world from every intergenerational angle, where she will look at why advisers can no longer afford to ignore younger potential clients, and how different priorities between age ranges mean advisers may need to tailor their advice for millennials and below. The online event takes place during the week of 30 November.
The rise of new investment apps offering easy to use, mobile first platforms with lower costs per investment have challenged traditional platforms, and offered younger investors a host of new options for ways of building wealth.
2020 saw stock markets crash, and this offered many young investors a rare chance to invest ‘at the ground level’, with many shares trading significantly below their traditional rates, as these platforms were offering easier, cheaper access to stocks and share options.
However, this rise has also seen a number of new risks enter the market. Many of these new platforms advertise using shares of well-known brands, and often only have a limited pool of shares. Bain notes this can lead to a bias towards the big tech behemoths, and brands already known and loved by younger generations, without proper consideration of how to mitigate risks, and properly diversify.
The advice gap and poor awareness of investing options available has left many young people at the mercy of the shark practitioners on the internet in many cases.
This is why it is so important that advisers look to fill the gap. In the long term, it is important for advisers themselves. With the intergenerational wealth transfer now in full swing, they cannot afford to ignore their future potential audience. They need to ensure the value of regulated financial advice is understood now by millennials, in order to capitalise on the inherited wealth later.
Unfortunately, this may not be as easy as flicking a switch. Millennials and younger people may well have different priorities compared to older people. At Intergen 2020, Bain will be talking through some of the ways in which priorities may change through the generations – from how to consider a lack of savings versus investing your pension, how attitudes to risk among young people are sometimes confused, to what home owning becoming more aspirational means for an entire generation.
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About Iona Bain
Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog, and author of the upcoming book, Own It! looks at how a revolution in young people in investing means it is so important to fill the advice gap among young people – from both the client and advisers’ point of view. This will require some adaptation, and Bain will also be looking at what advisers can do to make their advice more suited to young people, and how to introduce young people to the value of advice.