Cutting the Millennials Some Slack

On the surface, this looks and sounds like some incredibly stupid investor behavior…

via Business Insider:

According to a new survey by Bankrate.com, millennials are uncomfortable with choosing the stock market as their preferred method of investing “money they don’t need for at least 10 years.”

The survey reveals that today’s young Americans have a rather conservative investment style. “Thirty-nine (39%) percent say cash is their preferred way to invest” money. Only one-third (or 13%) of those picked the stock market.

Overall, 25% of Americans prefer cash, followed closely by real estate with 23% and stocks with 19%.

Why the f*** would anyone with four decades of ahead of them before retirement think that cash, which loses a bit of value every year, is the best way to invest? How innumerate do you have to be to consider cash, with an annual yield of zero and a negative inflation-adjusted return, as a suitable retirement investment?

But like I said, that’s just on the surface.

In reality, the Millennials surveyed deserve a little slack. Here’s why:

For starters, their formative years involved watching their parents’ retirement accounts get cut in half twice within the same decade.

Second, let’s keep in mind that Millennials are largely either unmarried or are just beginning to form families. They absolutely should be saving up cash if they’re planning to buy a home or apartment for themselves in the next few years. There’s no need to have that cash at risk if they’re hoping to use it shortly.

Third, and this is a big opportunity, almost no one knows how to talk this generation. All of the studies say they see through manipulative bullshit from traditional Wall Street firms and that they’re uninterested in being sold to via seminars, cold calls, webinars or conference room meetings. They don’t want to be cajoled into a felt cubicle at the local bank branch and they’e not seeing financial commercials (or any commercials for that matter) on TV. Unfortunately, those are the primary methods by which brokers and advisors have learned to reel in assets.

Part of the blame for this generation’s lack of investment interest can surely be placed on the investment industry itself.

Source:

How Millennials Missed Out On A Gigantic Fortune In The Stock Market (Business Insider)

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