Millennial Money Media: Financial Advice Sites Have Become a Trend
New sites from media and finance brands are vying to be Millennials’ go-to source for financial advice…
The internet is Millennials’ top source for financial advice after mom and dad—according to Ypulse’s research. In fact, among 25-33-year-olds, the group most likely to be making independent (and major) financial decisions, the internet is their very top source, superseding parents. To financial companies and institutions, this represents a huge shift, and challenge. Their experts and advisors are not considered go-to sources to most of the generation, leaving them searching for new ways to reach out and become trusted brands.
But the reliance on the internet as the modern day financial advisor provides opportunities as well—and the reality is that most of them do need advice. Ypulse’s most recent quarterly Finance & Spending Tracker survey found 60% of 18-34-year-olds are currently in debt, and while about three in ten say they feel optimistic and fortunate when they think about money, the same number say they feel nervous, overwhelmed, or worried. A study by finance company SoFi found that while almost 40% of 25-34-year-olds are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more, almost 40% say they were less than successful in accomplishing financial goals last year—indicating that they could use more help.
So what to do with a group that needs financial advice but won’t turn to your traditional advice sources? Start a website of course. Lately, a slew of new Millennial-finance platforms have been launched by media and finance brands (sometimes in partnership)—all hoping to become Millennials’ new go-to source for money wisdom. Here are six vying to get their attention:
Recently, Mic teamed up with Discover to give Millennials financial advice on the new digital channel The Payoff, giving guidance on topics like managing student debt and setting up a Mint account. To reach people where they’re already spending their time, the content exists in many forms, including podcasts, video series, newsletters and more. With the message to visitors that “Your financial future starts here,” the site covers topics like the best credit cards to use if traveling internationally, and “clever hacks” to save money on college.
Dow Jones’ new Moneyish says they aren’t like other Millennial finance sites. The platform doesn’t focus on personal finance like Mic’s The Payoff or Time Inc.’s Coinage, instead, they’re starting conversations about “feelings that surround money.” The content includes a recurring comic strip series about the relationships people have with their purchases, and a video series with a former FBI hostage negotiator that speaks to how to negotiate a raise or escape a bad date. Topics are categorized into channels like “Splurge,” “Hoard,” “Upgrade,” and “Heart” and mixes together pop-culture coverage and financial news and catchy-headlines.
Millennials reportedly can’t get enough of Refinery 29’s Money Diary. The article series, which launched in the beginning of 2016, follows women with diverse salaries and budgets going through a week’s worth of spending, outlining their day-to-day expenses. According to the senior editor of Refinery29’s “Work & Money” content, the series has been an “instant hit” because of its “voyeuristic element,” and because “it’s a relief to see how your peers are making it work or not.” Diaries track spending to the dollar, listing the participants’ occupation, salary, individual paycheck amount, and expenses in detail under headlines like “A Week In Orange County, CA On A $43,600 Salary” and “A Week In Upstate New York On A $32,520 Salary.” Visitors to the Money Diaries site can also submit their own budgets, if they want to share their spending as well.
USA Today and Nationwide have launched a video series to get Millennials finance-savvy. Featuring “accessible tips and takeaways to future-proof their finances,” Finance Your Life aims to cut the jargon and give advice that speaks directly to a generation wary to invest. The series will feature individual Millennials’ stories, evaluate what they’re doing right and wrong, and guide their financial future with the help of experts. The first two-minute video breaks down how to “up your investing game with two simple moves,” via cute animation.
A Canadian fintech company targeting Millennials has debuted in the U.S., and its on-site magazine wants to school them in money matters. With a user base averaging 29-years-old, Wealthsimple offers financial advice that Fast Company reports “doesn’t feel like old rich guys trying to ‘get’ young people.” Their online magazine showcases titles like “When Am I Too Old To Ask My Parents For Money?” the “Money Diaries” of well-known names like Kylie Jenner, “How To” content on being a financial grown up, and “Dear Ms. Etiquette,” a series that tackles sensitive money situations. Wealthsimple’s new ad debuted during this year’s Super Bowl, indicating their serious intent to get the generation on board.
Recently launched personal financial site About.com wants to help adulting Millennials “Make Money Personal.” Their new vertical The Balance caters to their 18-34-year-old users, who skew female, with advice for big financial decisions like buying insurance and planning for retirement. According to Digiday, the site “looks a little like a finance site, but [is] so much nicer and friendlier,” thanks to a clean design, minimal ads, and about 34,000 articles on topics like “Money Hacks,” “Personal Finance,” “Investing,” “Small Business,” and “Your Career.” Visitors to the site can find relevant content by choosing from a menu of what they want to achieve today, including: “Buy a Home,” “Save for College,” “Start a Business,” and “Plan for Retirement.”
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