Why Aren’t Millennials Investing Their Money?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Millennials may be the largest generation, but studies show that putting money into stocks and planning for retirement are not their things.

So why aren’t millennials investing their money? Good Question.

When talking millennials it’s good to walk a mile in their shoes — or at least in their skinny jeans.

“Their savings tends to be more oriented towards lifestyle and flexibility decisions,” said Christina Boyd.

Boyd is a managing director for Merrill Lynch. She has many millennial clients — people born in the early ’80s up to the early 2000s. A group that saw their parents struggle through the Great Recession.

“They think it’s very important to have a lot of experiences such as travel,” said Boyd.

Boyd said that while millennials are actually good about saving, they’re not so good when it comes to investing. According to the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, about 41 percent of Americans between 17 and 35 years old haven’t even started saving for retirement. But they do have a good excuse.

“We didn’t spend the last 10 years making money, we spent the last 10 years accruing debt,” said one millenial.

Thirty-four percent of Generation Yers have student debt with a median balance of nearly $20,000. But Boyd said no matter how high the debt and how low the income, millennials need to think ahead. Finding a way to save a little for the future — even if it’s just 1 percent of a pay check.

“It can be simply in a money market and that would be the lowest risk. Your ultra-short-term bond,” said Boyd.

For millennials who do invest, studies show they are more likely to invest in stocks or funds that are socially responsible.

And of those investors, 70 percent use online apps to help them.

More from John Lauritsen
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