Bridging the Generations in Family Finances

September 27, 2017

Liz Miller

  • President, Summit Place Financial Advisors LLC, Summit, N.J.
  • Education: B.S., Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Columbia University
  • Professional Designation: Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner

Background: After college, Ms. Miller headed to Wall Street where she held a variety of roles, including as a mutual-fund manager at Oppenheimer Funds. She then decided she wanted to use her knowledge to help individuals manage their money. As an adviser, she noticed an emerging need for families to have their financial lives managed in a holistic way. In 2008, she launched her own firm aimed at serving families in a coordinated, comprehensive manner.

Her practice: Ms. Miller’s practice serves 20 affluent families. The firm specializes in working with each generation within a family, which often includes the original clients’ children and grandchildren. “We want to help the clients’ adult children think about how they’re going to grow their family and save for their kids,” Ms. Miller says. With younger family members, advisers might teach them to use financial apps to manage their money. “We never want them to feel like we’re just mom and dad’s adviser,” she says.

How millennials are like other generations: Ms. Miller notes that while there’s been much made about millennials’ wariness toward investing in the stock market, she sees more similarities between the generations than differences. Like most people, she says, millennials want to be educated instead of being talked at. They want to be involved in investing and to feel like they’re engaged in the decision-making process.

How millennials are different from other generations: Ms. Miller says that millennials tend to have a keen interest in bringing good to the greater world, whether through investing in clean energy or in companies led by women. “More and more, millennials and young adults want their investments to also be aligned with their personal passions and priorities,” she says. Ms. Miller also says that for her and her advisers, staying on top of technology is crucial with younger clients. “If they ask to meet via Skype, we say ‘Sure!’” she says.

This interview with Liz Miller originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Click here to read the full article.