They came of age at a time when many of the world's institutions faltered. Marriage became less permanent as divorce rates skyrocketed. Government was plagued by scandals. Churches were the target of accusations of child abuse. Product recalls escalated. Historically stable institutions broke this generation's trust and led them to become disillusioned about everything but themselves.
Survey results confirm that Gen Xers and their younger millennial peers are significantly more likely than older generations to engage in "self-directed" investing decisions.
While nearly 38 percent of millennials report working with a business professional, only 29 percent actually work with an advisor, and nearly half are using word of mouth to gain information.
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Additionally, a recent Cogent Research report reveals that 57 percent of Gen Xers feel that their financial advisor is working in their best interest. These ratings are in stark contrast to relatively older investors, who report much higher levels of trust, likely due to longer working relationships and more focused attention from their advisors
Not surprisingly, these younger investors also allocate the lowest proportion of their assets to a primary advisor, highlighting an opportunity for financial advisors to increase the relationship with those in Gen X and potentially capture greater wallet share.
—By Cam Marston, president of Generational Insights and author of "Motivating the 'What's In It for Me?' Workforce" and "Generational Insights."