One of the most talked subject unfolding in Australia’s $2.3 trillion retirement industry is the fight for control of the millennial generation’s wealth.
According to stereotype, millennials are disengaged with all things financial and are prone to spending on smashed avocado toast and overseas travel. But they are also a generation that is locked out of Sydney’s and Melbourne’s housing market.
Millennials are loosely defined as those aged between 18 and 34 in 2017. In Australia there are more millennials than baby boomers and Gen Xers according to Roy Morgan – 6.2 million to be exact.
Until now they have been overlooked by the financial services industry.
But this generation is bound up in super obligations like no other because superannuation will take 9.5 per cent of their income for every year they work.
Today, the market has woken up to the fact that the millennials superannuation savings are ripe for the picking.
Afterall, super is the biggest financial asset for many millennials and their retirement savings would cumulatively add up to billions of dollars.
This year alone, there has been a proliferation of super funds targeting millennials.
At least three super funds have been launched this year alone and another is about to go live shortly.
There’s Grow Super, founded by Josh Wilson who previously worked for Commonwealth Bank’s digital innovation team. The fund raised $1.5 million from high net worth investors before going live in May. Grow launched with a sleek iPhone app which has the ability to take out life insurance.
Its close rival is Spaceship which heavily marketed itself on Facebook, and Instagram. The company positioned itself as a technology business with higher weighting in US tech stocks than traditional super funds. It says it has a diversified portfolio with technology at its core and has significant holdings in Apple and Google.
Then there’s Stockspot superannuation product which is only available to Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) at this stage. Stockspot claims to be the country’s first digital investment adviser popularly known as robo advice.
And Zuper super fund which is about to be launched as a possible alternative to SMSFs with an emphasis on being competitive on cost.
“SMSFs come with significant administration overheads and responsibilities which many Australians with a lower super balance can’t justify taking on. So Zuper could be a great alternative option to an SMSF,’’ said Zuper chief executive Jessica Ellerm.
She said Zuper will use mobile technology to provide services and the core of the fund will be invested in index funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) which will cut down on management fees and keep costs down.
But Michael Rice, chief executive of superannuation consultancy Rice Warner warned: “These products are heavily marketed to the young and gullible. They appear to offer something innovative but the promoters appear to have no experience in investment management.’’