The Who?! The Me, Me, Me Generation. Talking ‘Bout My Generation…and Investing

“The Who?! The Me, Me, Me Generation. Talking ‘Bout My Generation…and Investing”

By Brook Ptacek, IAC Student Intern

Millennials get a lot of flak. I know, I know. You’re probably sitting at your computer and thinking, “oh no, here we go again.” But seriously. There are a lot of assumptions about us. So FINRA and CFA Institute decided to investigate whether common assumptions about millennial-investors were true. And guess what…they weren’t.

In the study, entitled Uncertain Futures: 7 Myths About Millennials and Investing, FINRA and CFA Institute “explore” the attitudes of investing of three millennial segments: 1) millennials with no investment accounts, (2) millennials with retirement accounts, and (3) millennials with taxable investment accounts.  Then it compared those investment attitudes of the three millennial segments “with their Gen X and baby boomer counterparts.”

The study defined millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 at the time of the survey), Gen X as those born between 1965 and 1980 (ages 38 to 53 at the time of the survey), and Baby boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964 (ages 54 to 72 at the time of the survey).

The seven “common” myths that FINRA and CFA Institute debunked is that (1) millennials have “lofty goals,” (2) money is the key barrier to millennial investing, (3) millennials are overconfident in their own investing ability, (4) millennials distrust the financial services industry and financial professionals, (5)  millennials “overestimate” the amount of money they need to invest, (6) millennials love robo-advisers, and (7) millennials are all the same.

In short, the study showed that retirement does not look amazing for millennials, which has a huge impact millennials’ investment strategies, and millennials are maybe a little more skittish about investing than anticipated.  In this blog series, I will explore the results of this study. Click here for the full data set.