So what's an advisor to do to make sure he or she can win over these new, picky clients? Here are five steps for dealing with Gen Xers who think they can go it alone:
1. Offer your financial research as a means to test their hunches. Don't be a yes man. Be the "go guy" that brings an alternative point of view to their ideas. Show them the complexities they aren't aware of, and offer your insights into alternative plans. Do the hard work, show your results and then say, "What do you think?" and "Can I offer an idea?"
2. Reveal tales of failure. These stories get the attention of the do-it-yourself investor, especially if they involve people like them. Most people think, "I'm better than them," but when you paint a picture of real stories of DIYs who couldn't master the complexities or relied on their hunches to time the market and ended up worse off, your client may yield some control.
3. Get them to commit to a measurement tool for their success. Do they want to mirror the S&P 500? Whatever it is, make them commit to a measurement of success so that they will know if they're succeeding or not. And hold them to it.
4. Don't antagonize. Encourage and cheer and celebrate victories. It's not you against them, it's them against their own expectations and capabilities. Be ready to high-five the wins. And don't wag your finger if they fail.
5. Keep them involved in the decision-making process. It's important to keep them in the loop and ask for their buy-in along the way.