Change is a constant force; nothing in this world is static. Born on the brink of technological renaissance, few are more intimate with change than millennials. Being raised in an era of such unstopped movement as the turn of the millennium breeds among millennials a view of rapidly shifting backdrops as normalcy, even equilibrium.
Like many institutions, the finance sector is undergoing a massive rework in answer to the tide of increasingly relevant Millennial preference. Millennials’ savings accounts are steadily swelling as they advance in age and employment prestige, and according to Forbes writer Chance Barnett, Millennials are set to receive the “greatest transfer of inherited wealth ever”
In their present state, however, millennials are not fully engaged in the stock market, with a 2015 survey from Capital One Sharebuilder showing 93% of Millennials are wary of Wall street due to either mistrust or general disinterest in exchanging stocks. Data from Bankrate concludes that only 33% of millennials currently hold stock, significantly lower numbers than Generation X, of which 51% are stock owners.
However, the Bankrate survey also suggests that millennials’ investments tend to skyrocket with age; 44% of millennials age 26-35 reported investing, as opposed to stock owners comprising only 18% of respondents aged 18-25. Also according to Bankrate data, 57% of non-stock-owning millennials reported a lack of funds as a primary reason for not investing.
As the world of finance shifts to cater to an estimated $36 trillion influx of Millennial value over the next 45 years, applying technology optimized for user experience will claim a greater focus; even now, financial attention is being shifted to sustainable investing (building portfolios which emphasize philanthropically conscious companies), largely as a result of current millennial investors’ influence.
Millennials bring their technological inclinations to investing as well; instead of passing stock info around a golf course, millennials prefer the sleek, easy interface of smartphone apps to sate their stock needs. Tech media which fuses investing with simplicity seem to be doing particularly well; apps such as Wealthfront and SigFig which manage money and offer advice, thus minimizing time consumption, are Millennial hits.
Another encroaching trend is a disinclination toward “traditional investments,” in favor of profitable options like private equity and venture capital. Huge, entrenched corporate interests are less likely to open millennial wallets than an inspiring startup story coupled with a creative product. Data from Deloitte states that 57% of millennials have or are planning to start their own business, and 27% are self-employed. This entrepreneurial sentiment naturally engenders an appeal toward crowdfunding and online lending.