Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, are transforming the way they think about money and wealth. As the most diverse generation in U.S. history, they have emerged as a powerful force in the economy, overtaking the baby boomers as America's largest generation in 2020. With their unique characteristics and perspectives, millennials are reshaping the traditional notions of finance and exploring new avenues of what it means to build wealth.
Prioritizing values and lifestyle is very important for millennials when it comes to money. They often seek to express their identity through their wealth and make a positive impact in the world. This focus on responsible investing aligns with their values, as they actively support companies that demonstrate social and environmental responsibility. Millennials understand that their financial decisions can contribute to positive change, and they are eager to make a difference through their investments. Rashida Lilani, the founder of Lilani Wealth Management, points out, “What I love about the millennials is that they are ready to put their money where their mouth is. They are making their choices, whether it’s to promote environmentally friendly products, or to refrain from using products harmful for mother earth, and they are sticking to those choices.”
Unlike previous generations, millennials tend to possess a more diverse range of wealth. While stocks and bonds remain important investment vehicles, they have also embraced innovative assets like cryptocurrencies, stock options, and real estate. This expanded portfolio reflects their openness to new technologies and investment opportunities, allowing them to diversify their wealth.
Growing up in the digital age, millennials are often referred to as "technology natives." They have access to an abundance of financial information online, enabling them to educate themselves and make informed financial decisions. Millennials leverage resources like financial blogs, podcasts, and social media platforms to find, access, and interpret the vast quantities of relevant financial information available at their fingertips. Contrary to common misconceptions, millennials possess a high level of financial sophistication. They understand complex financial concepts and have a keen interest in growing their wealth.
Unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials prefer efficient and direct communication, favoring concise online interactions over lengthy in-person meetings. They are comfortable using digital tools and platforms to manage their finances, making them more adaptable to the rapidly evolving financial landscape.
In a shift from previous generations, homeownership is not a central part of the American dream for two-thirds of millennials, according to Bankrate's 2023 Financial Security survey. This change in perspective is influenced by factors such as mounting student loan debt, shifting job markets, and a desire for flexibility. However, despite the changing perception, many aspiring millennial homebuyers continue to face challenges in entering the housing market, experiencing difficulties in achieving their homeownership dreams.
Millennials are reshaping the relationship between finance and lifestyle. As the most diverse generation in U.S. history, they bring fresh perspectives, technological savvy, and a focus on values-driven investing. With their ability to navigate the digital realm and access vast amounts of financial information, millennials are poised to make informed financial decisions that align with their values and aspirations. “Creating and preserving wealth is a matter of lifestyle and choices we make as a part of our daily lives. It’s a marathon, not a sprint” advises Rashida Lilani.
As a millennial myself, I am proud to support and empower other millennials in redefining the path to financial success and forging a new frontier of wealth creation and meaning.