Put yourself in the shoes of the average metropolitan millennial. You’re moving ahead in your career, getting closer to the day you’ll finally own your own home and perhaps considering whether to start a pension or investment Isa.
You might think you’ve got to the stage where you need the services of an independent financial adviser (IFA) — but would they take on a client like you? All too often, the answer is no. As many young professionals can attest, we simply don’t have enough money — yet — to make it worth the industry’s while.
It is possible to argue that my generation is in greater need of financial advice than those before us. We have to contend with the shadow of student debt, a collapse in home ownership and higher levels of self-employment as wages stutter. Yet call up an IFA, and your youthful voice will be interpreted as the sound of a client with very little money and very few assets.
Unless you have a high salary, large inheritance or are at the outset of a potentially lucrative career, it’s unlikely the adviser will be able to make money out of you. Even if they did take you on, it’s equally unlikely that you would be able to afford their fees.
Help is at hand. There is a crop of new, digitally delivered services attempting to bridge the “advice gap” — and some of these ideas are so innovative, slick and affordable, they might cause the traditional advice profession to fear for its future.
ILLUSTRATION BY CLARE MALLISON