Why I Chose to Build My Firm Around the Professional Millennial

Erik Goodge, CFP® | July 12, 2022

I work with clients across the generational and socioeconomic spectrums, but my wheelhouse is working with the professional Millennial. This is because I concluded that to best be in position to help people, I must understand their situation.

I was born in 1988, putting me smack dab in the middle of what we call the “Millennial” generation. I’m a CFP® and work as a financial planner which is generally what someone would term “professional”. Therefore, if I was going to understand anyone’s position in life, it would be the “professional Millennial”.

Working primarily with this group has allowed me to hone in on issues that are important to them (and me). I’ve established a Roth IRA with a younger professional Millennial that invests primarily in environmentally and socially friendly companies. We did this by utilizing so-called “ESG” ETFs. The strategy is working fantastically and the client still gets the long term tax benefits of a Roth IRA.

I’ve worked with another client to analyze the cheapest possible way to pay off over $100,000 in student loans. We reviewed how much it would cost under all of the various repayment plans the government offers (e.g. PAYE, REPAYE, Income Contingent, Income Based, Extended) and even looked at what loan refinancing might look like.

I’ve helped Millennial client’s go from no emergency fund to several months worth of living expenses in a savings account. This is challenging for Millennial (or even Gen Z) clients because they are in the middle of many life changes. This makes planning and budgeting difficult because they haven’t had years of steady income and expenses to get accustomed to. Each year brings new opportunities and emergencies and building an emergency buffer is the most difficult when it’s most important.

I even take pleasure in showing Millennials they don’t need to hire a person like me unless they really want to. I remember how frustrating it was learning how to open and manage my own brokerage retirement accounts. If someone comes to me with similar questions, I’m happy to show them how to avoid the headaches I incurred.

I also take great pleasure in learning from my cohort as they master new skills. For example, I’ve recently become interested in learning the intricacies of real estate investing. Luckily enough for me there are plenty of professional Millennials out there who have already mastered such skills! Getting to know these Millennials through my financial planning practice is a great benefit to me because I can show them the financial planning skills that I’ve mastered, and they can show me the skills they have mastered!

All in all, I love my clients regardless of their generation or socioeconomic status. They wouldn’t be my clients unless that were true. But being able to relate to a client who is in the same stage of life as you are is a powerful tool in building rapport and providing a good service. And that is why I am building my practice around the professional Millennial.