Mass Affluent Millennials, Millennial Finances, Millennial Investing, Role of Advisor

Phoenix Synergistics: Investment Strategies for Mass Affluent Millennials

Spring 2018 | Assessing Needs, Goals, and Priorities | Planning and Advice - Traditional, Robo, and Hybrid | Role ofAdvisors

This study examines the perspective of mass affluent Millennials on saving and investing – assessing their goals, needs, and provider relationships.

Survey Topics

  • Investor Profile
  • Investment Product Mix
  • Investment Providers
  • Advisors
  • Robo Advisors
  • Credit Services


National Survey – The survey includes 471 online interviews with Millennials ages 24 to 37 with investable liquid assets of $100K to just under $1M. Where applicable, comparisons will be made with other generational mass affluent segments including Gen X (494 online interviews) and Baby Boomers (455 online interviews).


  • Assess mass affluent millennial investors’ attitudes and sentiment toward economic, financial, and investment matters. Determine their most important financial goals. Evaluate their greatest financial concerns.
  • Profile the current investment behavior of mass affluent Millennials. Assess the types of accounts held – ranging from employer retirement plans to alternative investments — and capture average balances.
  • Examine the main investment provider relationship. Determine type and specific institution. Assess reasons for choosing. Evaluate satisfaction and NPS measures. Assess the impact of online brokers.
  • Detail investment advisory relationships beyond the main investment provider relationship among mass affluent Millennials. Measure services used and desired. Evaluate selection factors. Examine perceptions of actual individual contact at advisory firm. Capture satisfaction and NPS measures.
  • Assess the impact of robo advisors among mass affluent millennial investors. Measure familiarity with and attitudes toward selected providers. Capture actual usage and reasons for adopting and reasons for non-adoption.
  • Assess the priorities and tradeoffs mass affluent millennial investors consider when evaluating traditional wealth management firms, fully automated investment options, and those that are advisor-assisted hybrids.
  • Determine what variables or traits are most appropriate for potentially segmenting the mass affluent millennial market – including age, asset level, or household income. Determine if segments exist based on the degree of conservative or aggressive investment behavior.


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  • The mass affluent sector continues to be an important segment for relationship expansion and revenue opportunities. Mass Affluent Millennials in particular are of special interest, given their lifecycle needs and goals related to aspects such as household formation, starting businesses, and saving for various goals and objectives. Although definitions vary, Phoenix Synergistics uses investable liquid assets of $100K to just under $1M as the criteria for examining these households.
  • The ongoing bull market of recent years has made mass affluent customers even more attractive. However, future strategies must take into account such developments as climbing interest rates and market corrections. Cross-selling efforts for deposit products, risk-appropriate investments, and credit services will be more important in such an environment. Areas of special interest in marketing to Millennial investors are the types of provider and advisory relationships and their roles.
  • Much has been written and observed about this segment being attracted to technology-driven solutions – such as robo-advisors. However, more recent findings indicate Millennials also value face-to-face contact and interaction for certain financial needs. The investment strategies of mass affluent Millennials impact a wide range of areas – product design, communication tactics, and delivery channels – particularly the mobile channel. This study examines the financial activity, behavior, and perceptions of Millennial Mass Affluent investors.

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