In Focus: Intergenerational Wealth  

It's time to look more deeply at wealth equality

Joy Brooks-Gilzeane

Joy Brooks-Gilzeane

Over the next three decades, trillions of wealth in assets is expected to move from one generation to the next.

The transfer of this wealth will be a defining moment for both advisers and clients. Whether or not I will see any of this money is another question.

In the UK, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated already worsening disparities in wealth accumulation across various demographics. 

Many young people aged 16-25 face the pressure of working gig economy jobs. Low wages as well as long working hours and increased job instability have presented a fragile future for us.

Leading up to the great wealth transfer, I wonder if I will benefit at all from this transfer?

Money is the backbone of our daily ventures. From that cheeky Nando's to a lads' holiday or going to a concert with friends, these all require funds.

However, given the current uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy, planning for the future has become harder than ever.

For those who have missed out on work, wanting to make up for lost time, the dilemma of prioritising the future over the present is a tough one to solve.

Do we sacrifice enjoyment now to secure a stable future?

Or do we enjoy each day as it comes and plan for retirement when we cross that bridge?

The great transfer may produce a new face of wealth or it may continue to reproduce existing inequalities. While the rich get richer, those in Britain’s most vulnerable communities continue to lose out. 

Advisers will need to adopt different strategies to adopt younger clientele. The needs of Gen Z and millennials will not mirror those of Boomers and Gen X.

Social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram are a source of financial advice for many young adults across the UK. 

A recent study from charity the Runnymede Trust revealed that for every £1 of White British Wealth, Indian households have 90-95 pence, Pakistani households have around 50 pence.

At the other end of the spectrum, Black Caribbean households have 20 pence for every £1 of White British Wealth, followed by Black African and Bangladeshi households at 10 pence. 

How can we explain this disparity in wealth?

Location, location, location... 

Figures show that people from black and minority ethnic groups in the UK tend to live in highly populated cities. This can be explained by existing networks and communities which are well established in urban areas. 

According to census data, London is the most ethnically diverse region in England and Wales.

In the capital, 40.2 per cent of residents identified themselves as part of the Asian, Black, Mixed or other ethnic group. It can be harder to accumulate pensionable assets when faced with the high cost of living in cities.