Millennials, you can have a glimpse into your future by watching your Baby Boomer parents struggle to retire.
In many cases, they will become a financial burden on you and your family (if they haven’t already). Needless to say, we Baby Boomers blew it by not looking toward the future and investing throughout our lives. Even more shocking is the news of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which indicates that approximately half of American households have no retirement accounts at all. That means most Americans are guaranteed to live below the poverty line.
Nevertheless, Millennials are repeating the bad habits of their parents. For instance, according to a survey conducted by Bankrate, “just 26% of people under 30 are investing in stocks…” Not to worry; they are not alone. This survey also highlighted that, “…more than half of Americans don’t own any stock investments at all, [and are] potentially missing out on a big investing opportunity to build retirement savings and overall wealth…”
It’s not as if there aren’t retirement savings programs available to Millennials, yet “despite the proliferation of investment-based retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 52% of Americans report not owning stocks or stock-based investments such as mutual funds…”
With all the tools at their disposal, why are Millennials repeating the pattern set forth by their Baby Boomer parents? And passing along this attitude to their own offspring?
Millennials feel they don’t have enough money to invest. In fairness, they are carrying huge college debt burdens. But, don’t we all feel overwhelmed by some level of debt? Who has extra money lying around? You have to build a budget to be able to save. You have to live below your means and really take money out of each paycheck to invest. Don’t just talk about it, do it.
Millennials Don’t Know About Stocks
The fact that Millennials claim not to know anything about stocks or the stock market drives me nuts. The Millennial generation is the information generation with the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. They find a hot product or restaurant instantaneously. Why is it so difficult to figure out the world of investing? They know what they eat; they know the mobile devices they use; they know the clothes they wear. Just buy what you know and step away from the money shows. If “news” is reported, the market has already adjusted for that. Remember, the shows are entertainment. If it looks too good to be true, it is.
Millennials Don’t Trust Stock Brokers
The Wolf Of Wall Street was a movie. I assume people didn’t stop having their hair cut when they saw Hair Spray? We all have lots of professionals in our lives that we have to vet. Do the same with your financial professionals. Interview them before using them.
The Typical Investment Fees Are Too High
Yes. Fees are high, but if you want financial advice, you have to pay for it. Shop around!
Now What, Millennials? Do It!
Investing means setting up a real budget and making sure that you are putting away money on a regular basis. Play around with one of the online calculators available, which will help you understand how time is on your side. Even a little invested now, when compounded, will really pay off in the future.
Waiting will not work. Financial pressures get bigger. Kids, school, emergencies…You will wake up and find that you have repeated what your parents have done. Time will catch up with you and you will have no savings. If you get a windfall; a bonus or inheritance, put it all away. You have heard everyone say, “Live below your means.” It’s actually great advice. Not only will you be able to save money, but you take the pressure off of having to keep earning money to just stay on the hamster-wheel of life.
If You Like The Ease Of A Mobile Device Or Online Investing, Find Something That Fits
There are many websites and apps out there that can help you track stocks (Bloomberg.com), invest like a billionaire (iBillionaire), offer robo investing solutions – you set your goals and they recommend and invest for you (Betterment, Wealthfront and Acorns), video gaming (Kapitall), social network investing (Marketocracy and SocialPicks) and investing in individual stocks (DriveWealth).
I work with DriveWealth because I believe that they have cracked the code on the Millennial-investing dilemma. They are a Broker/Dealer, who have listened to what Millennials want: easy access, low fees, education, and ability to buy fractional shares. They have just been recognized as a winner of “Best of Show” at FinovateEurope 2016, for their cloud-based technologies that enable real-time, fractional share investing in U.S. equities for investors around the world.
The Scourge Of Millennials
The low investing rate that is plaguing Millennials will cripple them in later life. It’s guaranteed. If I sound alarmist, it’s because I am alarmed. Millennials, don’t repeat the problems that your parents are facing. All you need to do is start the investing process today. I promise, in 40 years when you retire, you’ll be glad you did.