This is a work in progress exploring the Attitudes of Millennials towards Investments. If you would like to add points to explore in this research, please feel free to get in touch with us via our CONTACT US page.
We have noticed a new breed of investor- the Millenial Investor: loosely coined and not fully explored. It is this new market driving force that made us embark on an ongoing research to learn this new generation of Super Consumers and why it pays to learn more about their attitudes, psyche, longterm vision, what turns them on and what doesn’t.
To know this new breed of investors at a deeper level means marketing and engagement have to be fully customized to the way they interact with content and what catches their attention.
This is a literature research of mainly open access resources, however, if you have any first hand research going on and would like to contribute to this article, we greatly appreciate your input.
millenials, attitudes, risk, investments, behaviour economics, decision making, financial literacy, neuroeconomics, real estate
POINTS TO CONSIDER:
- Investment Risks
- Marketing Trends
LITERATURE TO REVIEW:
- Virlics, A. (2013). Investment Decision Making and Risk. Procedia Economics and Finance, 6, pp.169-177.
- Fraczek, B. and Klimontowicz, M. (2015). Financial literacy and its influence on young customers’ decision factors. Journal of Innovation Management, 3(1), pp.62-84.
- Scheresberg, CdB., Lusardi, A., and Yakoboski, PJ. (2014). College-Educated Millennials:
An Overview of Their Personal Finances. [online] Available at: https://millennialmoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/millennials_personal_finances_feb2014.pdf [Accessed 4 Dec. 2019].
GETTING TO KNOW THE MILLENIALS
Every generation has a transformative effect on the economy, but the actions of Generation Y, also
known as the Millennial Generation, promise to carry special impact. Gen Y, the largest generation in
U.S. history, comprises young, educated, ethnically diverse, and economically active individuals. These
Gen-Yers, or Millennials, as they are known, are entering the labor force as the “powerhouse of the
global economy” and arriving at critical points of financial decision making in their adult lives
Distinct from its predecessors—the Baby Boomers and Generation X—Generation Y is the largest, most
diverse generation in U.S. history. It consists of those born between the late 1970s and mid-1990s, a
cohort covering 70 million to 80 million people living in the United States alone (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Furthermore, it is highlighted by the findings of Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski (2014) that Gen Y is on course to become the most educated generation in American history according to Fry and Parker (2012) and is predicted to provide 75 percent of the global workforce by year 2025 (Schawbel, 2012).
Despite entering the workplace in the unstable economic environment of recent years, Gen Y continues
to be energetic and highly optimistic. Its members are eager to make a difference, and the size and
influence of this generation means they will ( Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Often referred to as the “instantgratification generation,” Millennials have been characterized as having high expectations for both professional and personal life (Bishop, 2006 as cited in Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Its members desire purposeful work and are passionate about issues like the environment. The literature attributes the high levels of optimism, confidence, and achievement of Gen Y to a change in social values regarding children and family life (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
The confidence instilled in this generation has informed its attitudes toward professional achievement. With such lofty—and perhaps unrealistic—expectations, Gen Y is also prone to higher-than-average levels of disappointment (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
The quality of their impact is linked to their financial
behavior. Indeed, Millennials’ personal finances are more relevant for the state of the economy than
those of any preceding generation ( Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Technology plays an important role in the lives of Millennials. Gen Y is the first “digital generation,”
raised amid laptop computers, cell phones, and rapidly advancing technology that is changing the way
individuals interact and conduct business (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Among other things, new technology alters where and how Gen Y gets information; for example, television and
the Internet have displaced newspapers as its source for news (National Chamber Foundation, 2012 as cited in Scherenberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Gen Y is accustomed to constant communication and immediate response. This makes its members highly productive, but also puts them out of touch with older colleagues. At the same time, global interconnectedness made possible with millennial technology, has made Gen Y increasingly reliant on peers for information and motivation (Scherenberg, Lusardi, Yakoboski, 2014).
What Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski (2014) gathered from their research of give us a more intimate glimpse into the financial activity college-educated Millennials:
* having a bank account—either a checking account (94 percent) and/or a savings account (85 percent)
* almost half of the respondents own their home, and 14 percent own a second home or other real estate assets
* close to two-fifths report having investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other securities
* in addition, most college-educated Gen-Yers have retirement accounts.
Thus Millennials are typically making decisions that will impact their long-term financial well-being, in addition to handling short-term financial decisions.
Many studies have focused on retirement savings or specific investments, such as stocks and mutual
funds but it is too restrictive to examine only assets (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Research has revealed that though this cohort is financially active, they are heavily indebted. The typical college millennial student, whilst managing personal finances is also dealing with long-term payments (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Despite relatively high levels of income and asset ownership, many college-educated Gen-Yers struggle
to make debt payments and are worried about their debt (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
In tandem with a long-term debt burden, heavy credit card borrowing can put Gen Y members in a position of significant financial distress, as evidenced by expensive credit card behavior, high-cost borrowing, overdrawn checking
accounts, and loans from retirement account (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Another source of short-term debt, and potential indicator of financial distress, is the use of alternative
financial services (AFS), such as auto-title loans, short-term “payday” loans, tax refund advances, pawn
shops, and rent-to-own arrangements (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
College-educated Millennials would likely benefit from assistance with debt management.While it may seem savvy and rational to use other sources of credit to make ends meet and make payments on longer-term debt, it is not viable in the long run without a change in the individual’s financial circumstances, such as an increase in earnings (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Engaging Millennials may be difficult since they are unaware of their lack of financial
knowledge and are confident in their day-to-day financial management decisions .
Millennials do not want to be told what to do: they want guidance that enables them to determine what is in their best interest and the tools to take action accordingly (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).
Financial literacy cannot be taken for granted, even among highly educated individuals.
Institutions and organizations that seek to be thought leaders and provide the best services to young adults
must recognize the gravity of this failing and take an active role in providing appropriate financial education (Scheresberg, Lusardi, and Yakoboski, 2014).