The millennials are a generation who have been tarred with the brush of not saving for their future and expecting everything to happen for them, but recent statistics seem to prove that this is far from the truth. In fact, it could be the older generations who are set to benefit least from financial know-how.
A millennial is someone who falls in the 18-35 age group, and has typically been characterised as being less financially savvy as the so-called Generation X and the baby boomers. The millennial generation is thought of as being trapped by high property prices, unable to get onto the property ladder and incapable of saving for that all-important deposit. However, it seems that extravagant spending habits and an inability to save are not quite as reflective of this generation as some people may have thought.
It seems that as many as 35% of millennials are now regularly saving or investing in the region of £250 per month, which is more than both Generation X and the baby boomers where only one in four do the same. A recent study found that 7% saw themselves as savers through banks and pension funds, whilst 33% preferred to invest in stocks, shares and property.
In contrast to these millennial savers, it seems that Generation X are the least prepared for retirement as they do not benefit from the lucrative defined benefit pension schemes or being enrolled in the newer defined contribution schemes at an earlier stage.
Having lived through a recent recession, many may have a different view of financial security. The study showed that more than half of millennials associate the words ‘risk’ and ‘investment’ with ‘opportunity’ whilst many of the older generation associate it with ‘discomfort’ and ‘uncertainty’, implying a greater sense of caution.
However, it is possible that they will need to broaden their horizons from these deceptively safe banking options if they are to enjoy high yields. Millennials have learnt to diversify their portfolios and are comfortable with higher levels of risk which has lead to them experimenting with ways of growing their nest-eggs. Older generations tend to stick to more proven methods which have adequate security provisions in place, which may be limiting their earning potential.
The reason for this could be the development in technology that the millennial generation has lived through. The digital age makes finding opportunities for saving and investing easier, with 59% saying they trusted technology when it came to making financial decisions.
It also seems that social media plays a large part in this trend, with many relying on advice from family and friends, and using social sites to access a wider range of information.
It seems that a generation that has long been branded as irresponsible has actually developed an attitude towards saving and investing that has not been seen in those who have gone before. With great access and understanding of these opportunities comes an inclination to protect themselves from recession and lack of security.