High-net-worth Millennials are taking personal responsibility to prepare themselves for the transfer and management of wealth, according to new global research by RBC Wealth Management.

Despite prevalent stereotypes to the contrary, Millennials are more confident and more prepared than their parents or grandparents when it comes to talking about and planning for the taboo topic of wealth. A large majority - 80 percent - said they feel responsible for understanding their own financial affairs, a stark contrast to the stereotype of Millennials as irresponsible.

The RBC Wealth Management survey included 479 individuals under the age of 35, with an average net worth of $5.7 million, in the United States, Canada and the UK.


Here are some of their additional key findings:

  • Millennials are initiating their personal financial education early in life with a sense of eagerness and openness
  • They typically start their structured financial education at 20 – a full five years earlier than individuals in Gen X and a dozen years earlier than Baby Boomers
  • More than half said they have received some financial instruction from their private banker or financial advisor

Ian, heir to a five-generation family fortune, said he was ready when he recently received a substantial inheritance.

“It's important to get comfortable with the idea of inheriting and to understand where the inheritance comes from. In my situation, it was handed down through the sale of a family business," he said. “I'm a steward of that wealth, rather than the owner."

But despite their good intentions, preparation for wealth transfer is not translating into reality for all Millennials. Despite the fact that a relatively large group - 38 percent - of Millennials said they have already put in place a comprehensive wealth transfer strategy, only 35 percent said they have taken the first step of preparing a will. And 36 percent have done nothing at all to prepare.

To read the full survey report, click here.

The report is produced by RBC Wealth Management a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, and an affiliate of City National Bank (CNB). CNB is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. The report is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be either a specific offer by RBC Wealth Management or CNB to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any particular financial account, product or service of RBC Wealth Management or CNB. The information contained in the report is not intended, and should not be construed, as professional advice or opinion provided to the reader, nor as a recommendation of any particular approach. This document is not intended to be an invitation to effect a securities transaction or an offer or solicitation for investment advice. CNB, member FDIC.