Bye, Financial Guru! Millenials Shun Experts


In 2004 the US Senate declared April as National Financial Literacy month. In celebration of the occasion, we’ve got our eyes on the millennial generation—specifically, how they handle their money.

A recent article by Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the financial advising industry is destined to suffer as more eighteen- to thirty-four year-olds bypass professional avenues of advice, turning instead to family, peers, and the internet.

As millennials express a higher feeling of security in their ability to reach financial goals, they keep their financial handling closer to home. This is a troublesome sign for industry experts who are threatened by the changing money-management patterns of these risk-averse optimists.

This shift in control may not be entirely undesirable, however. BYU associate finance professor Kim Smith says that while there will always be a need for financial advice, there are now more unique opportunities for millennials and others to capitalize on financial resources online.

“I think there’s a skepticism about the old-school approach,” Smith says. “Students are more comfortable looking at things from a big data standpoint. There are things you can do with quantitative techniques that you couldn’t do before.”

Traditional money handling methods of the past are now amplified by virtual resources that aid those living in a financial environment driven increasingly by social media.

Looking for somewhere to start? Smith suggests taking advantage of Wikipedia-modeled finance site Investopedia.