The Transfer of Wealth: 5 Financial Tips for Your Millennial

in Financial Planning by

If you have raised – or are raising – a millennial, it is possible he or she will control significant financial assets. Is your millennial poised to manage a substantial level of assets in the event of a handoff?

According to a Pew Research Center study (based on 2015 population estimates), the number of millennials (those aged 18-34 in 2015) have surpassed the baby boomer generation and are now the largest living generation in the United States.

From a financial perspective, millennials will be the recipients of an anticipated wealth transfer (e.g. inheritances) that is expected to top $30 trillion. In addition to their own accumulated assets, this wealth transfer will pose challenges for millennials—and it further increase the urgency of gaining investment knowledge. If the millennial in your life is just beginning to invest or you anticipate they will be inheriting a significant sum, you may help them find valuable insight by looking at the backgrounds of wealthy millennials and some of the challenges they are facing today.

High Net Worth Millennials Today

According to a recent Oppenheimer Funds survey that focused on today’s ultra-high net worth millennials, while they are generally conservative investors, they are becoming highly experienced and well educated regarding investments—and they are increasingly willing to take more risks.

Wealthy millennials are also values-minded, and they plan to make changes to their family investment strategies that reflect those personal values. They seek positive changes in society, in general, and they are willing to incorporate personal values-based changes into their investment portfolios to support their personal beliefs.

These millennials are also very interested in seeking advice from financial professionals when they perceive they have a knowledge gap. However, they are careful about who they trust, and they express reservations about the value advisors provide and about their motivations. Some even take a cynical view of fees and product recommendations. This is where fiduciary financial advisors – those who are legally obligated to act in their clients’ best interest – can often make an important impact on whom millennials choose to trust.

Wealthy Millennials & Investments

So how do the proclivities of wealthy millennials impact how you teach your millennial to invest? If your child is just starting out or has a modest nest egg, you can help them develop effective wealth-management habits. Becoming engaged now, through learning more about investments and seeking a long-term relationship with an advisor, will leave them better prepared to make appropriate decisions if their own savings or assets accumulated through wealth transfer (such as an inheritance), is significant.

Here are five tips to pass on to your millennial that will help them manage their financial lives in a smart, strategic way:

  • Make saving a habit: The basic key to investment success is to start sooner rather than later. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Look at the chart below, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor, for an illustration of the profound difference time makes when you are accumulating wealth. As you grow your portfolio and learn to make increasingly sophisticated investment decisions, you begin to prepare yourself for a time when you may need to make critical financial decisions involving a lump sum of money—such as an inheritance.
  • Know how much money you need to retire and work with a financial advisor to create a plan that accomplishes your goals: Experts estimate that you will need at least 70% of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. However, few younger investors have considered how much they will need in retirement. Establishing a relationship with a trusted financial advisor who can help guide your success puts you one step closer to understanding and, therefore, achieving your goals
  • Control your anxiety: Market volatility is a source of anxiety and insecurity for many investors—particularly millennial investors who remember the Great Recession. But remember that volatility is the enemy of short-term plans rather than long-term goals. If you have lots of time in the market, general market movements—even severe ones—are not particularly threatening to your long-term plan. Again, a relationship with a financial advisor can provide counsel if your anxiety level gets too high.
  • Diversify: Put your savings in different types of investments. And understand how your employer-sponsored retirement plans are invested. By diversifying your assets, you are more likely to reduce risk and improve return. Your investment mix may change over time, depending on several factors, including an inheritance. A trusted financial advisor can help you make the changes you need as your life progresses.
  • See a collaborative, holistic approach to investing: Many millennials do not believe that the financial services industry effectively represents their interests. However, there are many choices within financial services. If you know what you want, you can find both financial advisors and tech-based solutions that will provide answers that specifically fit your needs. The appropriate tools, education and assistance are individual choices that are too important to ignore.

The Takeaway

Millennials are poised to control a staggering level of wealth in the relatively near future. Those who get an early start, educate themselves, and establish trusting relationships with financial professionals are more likely to successfully manage their wealth and attain financial freedom. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand. Be prepared.

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Amin Dabit, CFP®

Amin Dabit, CFP®

Amin Dabit is the Director of Advisor Services with Personal Capital. Along with the EVP of Advisory, Amin helps lead Personal Capital’s financial planning experience and advice. Amin brings over a dozen years of experience in private wealth management and financial planning. Amin works with the advisory team to identify and establish strategies for reaching clients' financial goals by providing comprehensive, customized financial advice designed to improve their financial lives.
Amin Dabit, CFP®

Latest posts by Amin Dabit, CFP® (see all)


  1. Heather

    It’s interesting to see the investment trend of millennials in comparison to the previous generations. Many are slowly warming up to the stock market, but the way they invest is still far different than baby boomers, for example. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jay Jorgenson

    Great tips! The two I like most is “making saving a habit” and “control your anxiety”. My wife and I have the hardest time saving for the future. We can do it, we just put other things first. We also need to invest. We get too scared of losing. Great tips, very helpful!

  3. Hannah Schroeder

    It’s a little overwhelming to know that you need 70 percent of your income to keep up your standard of living after you retire. I just started my first salaried job, and I want to save for a retirement fund. I’m not sure how to go about saving 70 percent, so maybe I should consult a certified financial planner for advice.

  4. Rose Simmons

    Thanks for the great tips. I like how you suggest making savings a habit so you are able to have more time to grow your money. I currently have an auto-savings account, but I want to start investing it so that I get a bigger return.

  5. Vijay Kapoor

    Thanks for sharing the information, financial preservation can often be even more difficult than wealth creation. Hence, planning is important in every aspect to maintain the wealth in a proper manner.

  6. Kenneth Gladman

    I like how you mentioned that many millennials are seeking professional advice on how to best manage their wealth. This seems like a very wise thing to do and can help you maintain and expand your money. If I were coming into a large sum of money, I would want help investing and preserving it.

  7. Spencer Montgomery

    I agree that the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. This is what I want my children to learn, so it’s good that you mentioned this. It will also help them realize the importance of having saved money for future reasons.

  8. ArmanLink

    One of the most common questions we receive from Americans moving to Canada is how to navigate around the Canada Revenue Agency’s five-year deemed disposition rule. Canada assesses an exit tax on any unrealized capital gains inside taxable accounts in cases where the U.S. citizen moves back to the United States after having been a Canadian tax resident for longer than 60 months.

  9. Kayla

    My dad found this article helpful and informative because of us, his children are millennials. My dad wants to financially plan our future. He appreciates that this article gave financial tips for financial. He especially liked it when it emphasized to make saving a habit. It says that the basic key to investment success is to start sooner rather than later.

  10. Bhuvi Kumar

    Planning is indeed an important step in every aspect of life. Saving money on the other hand also makes a make difference. Great tips are given by you on the same. These tips can really lead us to a right path and ultimately the success.

  11. Taylor Bishop

    I just wanted to thank you for these financial tips. You mentioned that it’s important to try to talk with an advisor to achieve the goals you want, like knowing how much money to put into retirement. I’m kind of interested to learn how early it could be good to start doing this, like if it should start saving when you are in your early twenties.

  12. Ellie Davis

    Thank you for mentioning that you will probably need about 70% of your preretirement income to maintain your standard of life after retirement. My husband and I are wanting to get our finances in check and haven’t been completely sure on how to do this. I think we are going to start researching financial planning companies to help up get everything in check so we can be more stress-free.

  13. Georgia B

    Thanks for the tip to work with a financial advisor to help you prepare to save for retirement. I know a lot of the younger generation doesn’t stop to consider the future so far in advance, but it would definitely make life a lot easier to start saving up for that when you’re young. I’ll have to remind my sister about this and recommend that she talk to a financial service to help her get started!

  14. Deb Pearl

    Thank you for all the financial tips for millennials. I really like your tip about putting your savings in different types of investments. I think that would be really smart to divide your savings into different assets. I will have to make sure I am managing my wealth like that.

  15. Kunal

    Such a helpful information. I’m really impressed with the mentioned tips. All the mentioned tips are actually worth to consider and sound more professional. Thanks for sharing such a helpful stuff.

  16. Taylor Bishop

    Thanks for going over some financial tips. You mentioned that it could be good to start learning how to save sooner than later. It sounds important, especially when you will need to learn how to budget in the future.

  17. Burt Silver

    I like the tip that you left about making saving a habit. This is something that I totally agree with. I’ve been looking into getting a financial planner that can help me to save better and spend my money more wisely.

  18. Monica Chavez

    I love your idea to start saving sooner rather than later so that your money has more time to grow. My husband and I are really interested in investing some money so that it can grow and we can have more money to retire with in the future. It would probably help if we found a reliable financial planner to help us do that, since we don’t know very much about investments or things like that.

  19. Kunal

    Thanks for sharing this. Great tips! I also got one financial planner who guide me in every way.

  20. Jenna Hunter

    I appreciate your advice on making saving a habit and starting to save or invest your money when you are younger so that it has plenty of time to grow. My sister just moved out of the parent’s house to go to college and probably has no idea how to manage money on her own. I will have to pass along some of your information and help her figure out how to start saving as soon as possible.

  21. Alexandria Martinez

    My fiance came home the other day looking into financial planning. He was trying to look into any tips or tricks to better understand this type of finance. It would help him to know that it is better to see a collaborative approach to things.

  22. Marcus Coons

    I totally agree with you in that it is important to make a habit of saving when looking into financial planning. It is important to understand that doing some research can help you find the type of planning you need. A friend of mine was talking about China sourcing, so I wanted to look into it for him.


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