5 Truths About Millennials And Money


Many millennials leave high school and even college without any academic insight into personal finance or investing.

1. Millennials are interested in starting and running their own businesses.
Whether it’s within the next few years, or later on in life, startup culture has become more and more appealing.  Resources for how to fund a new company or raise money for a new venture are very popular.

Many young adults are trying to find the quickest and easiest way to make as much money as possible. This is also why freelance positions and side hustles are becoming so much more widespread among this demographic.

2. They have a sense of social and personal responsibility
Millennials truly want a better financial future for themselves as part of a better world at large. When millennials get paid, they like earning those dollars through positive social contribution. The same is true when they spend money – they would like it going to the most deserving businesses, the ones going the distance for causes such as sustainability, conservation and social welfare. However, for all the idealism surrounding where money comes from and where it should go, many millennials struggle with basic financial skills such as budgeting and saving, building credit, not to mention investing.

Many millennials leave high school and even college without any academic insight into personal finance or investing. As a result, they may know about Apple stock hitting new highs but have no idea how to buy and sell shares, let alone do so responsibly. They take out college loans but might not understand the long-term financial implications of taking on debt. Additionally, many millennials have so many other, perhaps more exciting, aspects of life to pay attention to that prioritizing learning about personal finance is not likely.

3. Increasing availability of technology is aiding personal finance.
You don’t need to be a math or finance genius to know how to invest and potentially profit from the stock market. Learning concepts of various financial instruments and accounts is essential, and it’s not hard to do. For instance, you can begin with auditing your own financial health by creating a budget, maximizing your savings and seeing how much you might be able to set aside to potentially invest. From there, you can learn about investments and securities such as ETFs, etc.

4. There’s a lack of knowledge about retirement planning and credit.
Millennials are not aware of Roth IRA accounts or other retirement options. Many young adults are interested in knowing how they can invest in the latest tech companies.

Few understand the importance of building credit at this point in their lives and do not understand the importance of having a good credit score.

5. Skepticism of financial institutions exists among millennials.
They witnessed what the market crash did to their parents’ savings. In an article by Main Street, they claim that roughly 60% of millennial investors ask to be educated on the basics of investing from their financial advisors. From this we can see that millennials would be attracted to a crash course in how to invest responsibly. Millennials are more inclined to invest in newer companies but also are not afraid to invest in technology companies either. Specifically Tesla and Alibaba are very popular among millennials. Millennials seem to invest their money in things they actually use and are excited about, as opposed to investing a lot in bonds. Millennials seem to be more interested in stocks with high growth expected as opposed to a steady stream of dividends. From most of my research I have found there are generally two types of millennial investors: young people who are highly skeptical of the stock market and prefer to keep their money in cash, or investors who are risk-averse, investing in things they have seen become successful – and they feel more comfortable with because they know about the company. They would rather feel a connection to a company than looking at expected returns and deciding between companies they don’t know. They buy what they know, which is technology. Oddly enough, millennials who do invest have a diversified portfolio because of their skepticism. •

For more information and personal finance education, please visit napkinfinance.com.

Tina Hay comes from a diverse background encompassing film, technology and finance. Her personal struggles understanding complex financial topics led her to found Napkin Finance, a guide to everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less. The mission of the company is to empower readers to make smart money decisions and build a lifetime of financial well-being. Napkin Finance has been featured in Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, E! Entertainment, and has joined the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Education Initiative, Better Make Room, with the creation of a Napkin Finance course for helping students save and pay for college. Prior to creating Napkin Finance, she was Co-founder and President of CityTripping.com, editor of CityTripping Los Angeles: Your Guide to Restaurants, Nightlife, Shopping, Culture, Fitness and Hotels, and Founder of Platinum Test Group. Additionally Tina also created and runs the environmental conservation group, All You Need is One. She holds a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from Harvard University.

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