Appeal to Millennials Using the Rule of -ates, Part 2: Recreate

Bill McManus   |  Tue Jun 02 10:00:00 EDT 2015


Recently, I wrote the first post in a four-part series about how financial advisors can relate to millennial clients by displaying empathy for their specific life stage and unique wants and needs. In that post, I made reference to the social nature of millennials and their desire to build and maintain a healthy social circle. So, for this second part of the series, I’m going to talk about how you can relate to millennials by finding out how they recreate.

Gen Y has an open road to explore and find the things they truly enjoy. Opportunities abound for young professionals—social sports clubs are common, museums and non-profits have memberships specifically for young supporters, and sites such as have become a popular way for young people with specific interests to meet like-minded people and attend outings. Whether you’re a runner, a philanthropist or a pet lover, chances are, there is a group, club or organization for that.


Here’s how to use your millennial clients’ recreational preferences to your advantage:

Break the ice

"What do you do for fun?" This may be one of the easiest questions to ask another person. We all like to talk about ourselves and the things that we enjoy doing. As such, asking your millennial clients that one simple question serves as a great way to get them to open up to you. Finding out about their hobbies and how they spend their free time gives you something to engage them with and helps you understand and gain insight into their lives and priorities. Don’t just ask once. Ask them in your initial conversations with them, and then continue to ask follow-up questions in future conversations.

Personalize your financial conversations

Showing an interest in your millennial clients’ recreational activities gives you something tangible to align to when you segue into your budgeting and planning conversations. If you know how your clients recreate, then you have a better understanding for who they are and what motivates them. This information will help as you begin to discuss financial planning, because you can be sure to integrate their hobbies into your guidance. Factor their interests into the budget and into their future. In doing so, you will be showing them empathy, tailoring your plans to them and demonstrating that you know them and know what matters to them.

Provide information going forward

Now that you know what your millennial clients like to do with their free time, use that knowledge to stay relevant and top of mind. If your discussions uncover a passion for sports or travel, email your client an interesting article link that you may have read on that topic. If you hear someone raving about the "amazing meal" they had over the weekend, send your foodie millennial client the restaurant recommendation. Are they into fitness? Pass along some tips on finding the right gym or workout plan. Providing your millennial clients with this kind of personalized, pertinent information will give you an opening to make contact and will show your ongoing commitment to getting to know them and providing guidance for their long-term financial plan.

Make an effort to show a genuine interest in your millennial clients’ genuine interests, and you will reap the rewards for going that extra mile.



Bill McManus

Bill McManus  

Director, Strategic Markets

Bill is part of the Strategic Markets Team for Hartford Funds. In his current position, Bill is responsible for engaging and educating both financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Bill joined the organization in 2003 as an advisor consultant responsible for marketing Hartford Funds in Virginia and West Virginia. Bill earned his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation, is FINRA Series 7 and 63 registered, and holds his life and variable insurance licenses.

Bill has been widely quoted in consumer and trade publications such as US News and World Report and Wealth He has also appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg Radio to discuss his views on retirement-related topics.

Originally from Smithville, New Jersey, Bill attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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