RBC Wealth Management – U.S. survey reveals wealthy Millennials think regularly about their financial futures but need more knowledge and time if they are going to achieve their goals



MINNEAPOLIS (July 12, 2022) – Millennials, often misrepresented as indulgent and financially unprepared, contradict those stereotypes according to insights from a recent RBC Wealth Management – U.S survey. The survey of 1,000 high-net-worth (HNW) Millennials found that 84% think frequently about their financial security, but many are unsure of what they need to do to attain it.

Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult population according to U.S. Census Bureau data, with the oldest now age 41. They’ve also grown their wealth from $4 trillion in 2019 to $9 trillion at the end of 2021, according to data from the Federal Reserve, and they’re looking to advisors for help managing that wealth.

“We conducted this survey to understand how financial advisors can address the needs of HNW Millennials, the next big wave of wealth and the future generation of investors,” said Angie O’Leary, Head of Wealth Planning at RBC Wealth Management – U.S. “Our data shows they have a high degree of trust in financial advisors, and with many wealthy Millennials expecting to come into money from inheritance or the sale of a business, their advisors will serve as a crucial resource for information and support.”

Juggling Responsibilities

That professional guidance is important, as the survey shows 6-in-10 (59%) Millennials reported difficulty finding time to manage their finances while juggling multiple responsibilities, such as buying a home, starting a family, caring for aging parents and saving for their children’s education. Another challenge is a lack of knowledge, with nearly three-quarters (72%) of survey participants saying that after paying off debt, saving for an emergency fund, and maxing out their 401(k), they are unsure what to do next.

Planning for the Future

The main goal of those surveyed is establishing long-term security by investing and saving, with 75% saying they want the same things as their parents, but they are simply unaffordable. According to the survey, 38% say investing in the stock market is their top financial goal, compared to 33% who prioritize saving for retirement. More than one-quarter (27%) said their top financial goal is starting a company. “Millennials have an entrepreneurial mind-set, and are looking at ways to create other sources of income through business ownership, investment property or a side-hustle,” O’Leary added. “Competing responsibilities and goals make a personalized wealth plan especially important for Millennials, with a focus not necessarily on retirement planning, but instead on planning for their specific life goals, including entrepreneurial endeavors.”

Supporting the greater good

As they’ve built their wealth, Millennials have developed their own priorities when it comes to how they invest. Nearly 85% of survey respondents said it’s important to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) data as part of their investment decisions, and that these investments are an integral part of their investment strategy.

To reach those goals, Millennials are searching for financial advisors with knowledge about ESG, with 92% saying it is important that their current or future financial advisor is knowledgeable about how to utilize ESG data while recommending an investment. More than 8-in-10 (83%) investors would choose to leave a financial advisor if they were not knowledgeable about ESG, according to the survey.

Kent McClanahan, Vice President of Responsible Investing at RBC Wealth Management – U.S., said, “Millennials’ strong appetite for ESG creates an opportunity for advisors to incorporate ESG data into their investment and wealth planning, as well as advise and educate the younger generation of investors on how to invest with purpose.”

About the survey

The 10-minute, online quantitative survey was conducted in December 2021. Respondents included 25- to 40-year-olds (Millennials) across genders, races, and geographies, of which 750 were HNW and 250 HENRY (high earning, not rich yet). HNW is defined as having at least $1 million in investable assets, including 401(k). HENRY is defined as having $250K+ in household income, or between $100K-$999K in investable assets.

About RBC Wealth Management – U.S.

In the United States, RBC Wealth Management operates as a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Founded in 1909, RBC Wealth Management is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and other major securities exchanges. RBC Wealth Management has $508 billion in total client assets with more than 2,100 financial advisors operating in 184 locations in 42 states.

Media Contact

Hannah Pederson, RBC Wealth Management, 612-371-2365, hannah.pederson@rbc.com