12 votes

A guarded generation: How millennials view money and investing

17 comments

  1. [10]
    dubteedub
    Link
    For those who can't read the article, here is an archive - http://archive.is/JPUcP Well we did it millennials, among our long list of murders, we have not officially killed the American Dream. I...

    For those who can't read the article, here is an archive - http://archive.is/JPUcP


    As a result, more than half of millennials think their generation’s American dream has been upended, according to a survey for The Wall Street Journal conducted by MarketCast in September 2019.

    Well we did it millennials, among our long list of murders, we have not officially killed the American Dream.

    I do gotta say that seeing some of these charts and reading some of these people's stories is really disheartening and I think really helps demonstrate why so many young people are so supportive of progressive politics and are more amenable to socialism than prior generations.

    American millenials grew up with the September 11th attack, two never-ending wars in the Middle East, the Patriot Act, and then entered the job market or college right as the Great Recession hit in 2008. Our generation was hurt the hardest by the recession, setting back job availability while boomers stayed in the job market longer to recoup their losses. It really feels like the odds are stacked against us by those who came before.

    Here are some highlights from the article that I think really drive this home.

    What’s more, half of millennials say they want to invest but have no idea where to begin, compared with 32% of Generation X and less than 20% of baby boomers. Mistrust of financial institutions runs through 37% of millennials surveyed, compared with 29% of Generation X and 22% of baby boomers.

    ...

    Between 2010 and 2016, Gen Xers, baby boomers and the older silent generation all recouped some of their recession losses, while the average family headed by someone born in the 1980s fell further behind the older groups, in relative terms, according to data by the St. Louis Fed, which concluded that millennials are at risk of becoming a “lost” generation financially.

    ...

    Ms. McGaughey and 45% of her generation expect there to be a recession in the next year, compared with 37% of baby boomers, according to a survey conducted by data-and-consulting company Kantar. This fear, coupled with student debt estimated at $1.6 trillion, stagnant wages and rising housing costs is keeping younger investors like Gina Gauthier out of the markets.

    ...

    At the same time, millennials are delaying traditional life milestones, including marriage, homeownership and having children. Since the 1960s, the percentage of people aged 18-31 who are married and living in their own household has dropped by more than 50%, according to Goldman Sachs. The cohort has also helped drive the number of births in the U.S. to their lowest levels since the 1980s.

    ...

    Compared to past generations, our wages are down, employment is down, home ownership is down, marriage is down, and birth rates are down. It is no wonder that we believe the American dream is a lost cause.

    16 votes
    1. [7]
      trobertson
      Link Parent
      Don't forget trust in governments and governing institutions. That's supposed to be the path to fixing those problems, but the recent decades demonstrate that we can't really trust the government...

      Compared to past generations, our wages are down, employment is down, home ownership is down, marriage is down, and birth rates are down. It is no wonder that we believe the American dream is a lost cause.

      Don't forget trust in governments and governing institutions. That's supposed to be the path to fixing those problems, but the recent decades demonstrate that we can't really trust the government to have society's back.

      10 votes
      1. [6]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        That is a good point and could help explain the massively low turnout by the youth vote in the primaries so far.

        That is a good point and could help explain the massively low turnout by the youth vote in the primaries so far.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          Is young voter turnout actually down in the primaries? I have been reading here on Tildes that it was actually up, but that "rich suburbanite" (or something like that) turnout was apparently even...

          Is young voter turnout actually down in the primaries? I have been reading here on Tildes that it was actually up, but that "rich suburbanite" (or something like that) turnout was apparently even higher.

          @NaraVara

          So uh, which is it?

          1 vote
          1. dubteedub
            Link Parent
            The youth vote goes missing in 2020 Democratic primaries Super Tuesday: Why didn't more young people vote? It is a little of column A and a little column b. In general youth voting is down. And...

            Youth voter turnout so far in the Democratic primaries is either flat or declining compared with the 2016 primaries.

            Context: According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, while raw turnout is up in all 12 of the states with competitive elections, the youth vote has only risen in four states, and is flat in two other states.


            John Della Volpe, the director of polling at Harvard Kennedy School, has led surveys on American youth voters since 2000. He says that based on exit polling data, "there is credible evidence to suggest that the youth vote is flat to down in most states... young people are just not as enthusiastic as many of us expected them to be".

            Surveys suggest young people are interested in politics - one Harvard poll last year found that 43% of 18-29 year olds said they were likely to vote in their party's primary.

            But actual turnout appears to have been far lower than that - analysis of exit polls from Tufts University suggests youth turnout in the Super Tuesday states ranged from 5% to 19%.

            And even in the states where the overall number of young voters increased, they were dwarfed by a larger increase from older voters.


            It is a little of column A and a little column b.

            In general youth voting is down. And even in the few states where it is up, youth voting did not increase nearly as much as the boost seen in older voting demographics.

            5 votes
          2. [3]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            @Dubteedub I would be leery of extrapolating too much based on primary vote. It's possible that people don't show up for the primary because they don't actually care about which Democrat wins as...

            @Dubteedub

            I would be leery of extrapolating too much based on primary vote. It's possible that people don't show up for the primary because they don't actually care about which Democrat wins as long as one of them does. Primaries are also closed, so people who don't want to register with a party can't participate.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              dubteedub
              Link Parent
              That is fair. It is possible that we end up with an increase in youth turnout in the general election. I just don't think it is something that should be banked on given historical trends and the...

              I would be leery of extrapolating too much based on primary vote.

              That is fair. It is possible that we end up with an increase in youth turnout in the general election. I just don't think it is something that should be banked on given historical trends and the decreased turnout so far.

              Primaries are also closed, so people who don't want to register with a party can't participate.

              It looks like half of the states are open primaries, including plenty that voted so far, so that can only be considered to a certain extent.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_primaries_in_the_United_States#States_with_an_open_presidential_primary

              1 vote
              1. NaraVara
                Link Parent
                It's possible. I do remember back when I was in high school (as a millennial) a lot of my teachers were saying that our generation was particularly engaged, socially conscious, and interested in...

                That is fair. It is possible that we end up with an increase in youth turnout in the general election. I just don't think it is something that should be banked on given historical trends and the decreased turnout so far.

                It's possible. I do remember back when I was in high school (as a millennial) a lot of my teachers were saying that our generation was particularly engaged, socially conscious, and interested in political involvement. The historic impact of Obama's millennial fueled campaign might have worked on the back of this. But I'm not seeing a big drop in turnout over time.

                Here's the age graph specifically. The youngest cohort lags behind only Obama's first run, but that was historic. It's a bit like trying people trying to benchmark everything Apple does against the iPhone. I don't think you're going to see appreciably higher numbers than that unless things change on a more structural basis.

                1 vote
    2. vektor
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I wonder how the situation is here in germany, objectively. Do we have the same low income as in UK/US? Does the political sphere pander as much to boomers here? We have a different population...

      I wonder how the situation is here in germany, objectively. Do we have the same low income as in UK/US? Does the political sphere pander as much to boomers here? We have a different population structure - the baby boom happened a bit later, because rebuilding from ruins is harder than returning home from deployment and riding the economic high.(gross simplification) Beyond that, I wonder how much less generationally unequal our society is in comparison.

      ETA: Personally, born in the 90s I feel rather shafted by interest rates. I remember my parents setting me up with german govt. bonds at an interest rate of 5% or something crazy. But that went in 2008, and interest rates have been basically 0 ever since. Doesn't help my homebuying prospects. Nevermind that the housing market is super ridiculous anyways.

      Betcha by the time I actually am in the market for a house, interest rates are going to skyrocket and I'm going to pay through the nose for it. And immediately after, real estate prices crash. Or something like that.

      5 votes
    3. joplin
      Link Parent
      That really sucks. I will say that we felt the same way when we were in your shoes. I graduated high school in 1989. The stock market had its worst fall since the Great Depression in 1987. By 1992...

      Our generation was hurt the hardest by the recession, setting back job availability while boomers stayed in the job market longer to recoup their losses. It really feels like the odds are stacked against us by those who came before.

      That really sucks. I will say that we felt the same way when we were in your shoes. I graduated high school in 1989. The stock market had its worst fall since the Great Depression in 1987. By 1992 (a year before I graduated college), we were deep in a recession and a war in the Middle East that made little sense to most Americans. Some things never change.

      We did, however, have better prospects on home buying. That is definitely one area that has gotten significantly worse. That and healthcare.

      I'd caution against blaming it on a particular generation. It really is the actions of specific people (particularly those in Congress and the White House) that caused a lot of these issues. For example, the unions that were fairly strong in the 1970s really didn't like what happened in the 80s and beyond, where they were systematically disempowered by our legislators. They're of the same generation as the people that caused the problems and they've been hit hard, too.

      4 votes
  2. [7]
    moonbathers
    Link
    Good for her. We need everyone to think like this. I've ranted about the stock market to multiple people this week since it's currently shitting the bed. I wish I didn't have to participate in it,...

    Kate McGaughey says she feels a responsibility to think about the world she will leave behind and doesn’t want to make selfish choices with her money.

    Good for her. We need everyone to think like this.

    I've ranted about the stock market to multiple people this week since it's currently shitting the bed. I wish I didn't have to participate in it, to me it creates no value for society. It's shares in companies that you don't care about at best, or are horribly unethical and shouldn't exist at worst. If the stock market does great, it doesn't mean anything to anyone except people who are close to retiring or are rich already, but when it crashes like this everyone loses their jobs. It's getting bigger headlines than the currently-ongoing pandemic, which is beyond fucked up to me.

    6 votes
    1. [6]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      So... Traditionally, investment in the stock market would allow companies to take more risks for growth. Money begets money and all that, companies often need investment to stabilize, grow,...

      So... Traditionally, investment in the stock market would allow companies to take more risks for growth. Money begets money and all that, companies often need investment to stabilize, grow, expand, research and develop. They need.money to offer higher salaries and attract elite talent. This is still sort of true for mid-cap and small-cap companies.

      Thats the purpose the stock market is supposed to provide, instead of having to hunt down independent investors. Of course the way the stock market actually works has become a monstrosity of that idea and now resembles something akin to a casino.

      With all that said, for those that can afford to get in the stock market is still the number one way to build value. Tildes seems to skew towards poorer/working class posters as well as students all of which don't have discretionary funds for investment so I understand the general response. With that said, no matter what you are saving for, investing in ETF's/Mutual funds is literally the best way to get there at the moment, even for those of us considered middle class.

      Its good to remember that recessions aren't a product of the stock market. They are a product of capitalism. We can go back to the ancient world and find evidence of recessions, depressions, and debt crises. We could get rid of the stock exchange tomorrow and that wouldn't stop periodic economic fall out like this.

      Which is not to say the stock exchange doesn't require massive regulation from future administrations. It's just not the all bad certain posters make it out to be.

      7 votes
      1. [5]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        One thing pointed out in the article is that unlike boomers or Gen X, millenials don't even know how to invest if they wanted to. There is just a severe lack of understanding how this entire...

        One thing pointed out in the article is that unlike boomers or Gen X, millenials don't even know how to invest if they wanted to.

        What’s more, half of millennials say they want to invest but have no idea where to begin, compared with 32% of Generation X and less than 20% of baby boomers. Mistrust of financial institutions runs through 37% of millennials surveyed, compared with 29% of Generation X and 22% of baby boomers.

        There is just a severe lack of understanding how this entire process all works and it is unclear who can be trusted to actually explain it.

        3 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          That's understandable. As a millennial I have a huge disdain for financial institutions and debt in general. I am at the point where I could comfortably get into a house and I still refuse because...

          That's understandable. As a millennial I have a huge disdain for financial institutions and debt in general. I am at the point where I could comfortably get into a house and I still refuse because I don't want to risk that kind of debt, nor do I want to pay banks any sort of interest.

          For me /r/personalfinance actually went a long way in helping make sense of stocks. For those living in America its surprisingly easy, you just need to tie a bank account to a Vanguard account and you can buy from your phone. Studies suggest that sticking to broad index funds that hold multiple companies almost always out perform individual stocks or day trading, so just put your money in Vanguard's S&P 500 or Vanguard's Total America Fund and wait it out.

          4 votes
        2. [3]
          joplin
          Link Parent
          I don't think that's unique to Millennials. When I was just out of college, I only learned about investing because my parents opened an IRA for me and funded it for 1 year. They explained how it...

          I don't think that's unique to Millennials. When I was just out of college, I only learned about investing because my parents opened an IRA for me and funded it for 1 year. They explained how it worked and said, "It's up to you to fund it from now on." Back then you still had to call a stock broker and say, "I'd like to buy x shares of XYZ stock." It was quite intimidating. Most other people my age didn't get that lesson.

          I remember a friend calling me around that time and saying he was glad he wasn't dealing with all the "adult bullshit like IRAs and stuff" that others were worrying about. I laughed it off kind of embarrassed for him. My IRA is now worth several times my annual salary. And it's not the only retirement fund I have going. I don't know whether he eventually caught on or not.

          The good news is that it's super simple to invest today. You can get a brokerage account by signing up online and set up auto-deduction from your paycheck to fund it. You can basically set it and forget it. (Just be sure to log in every 6 months and check on it because if you don't the government can legally take it from you.)

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Loire
            Link Parent
            What in the fuck? How does the American government never cease to do the wrong thing? Hold on let me set semi annual reminders to check my Vanguard account.

            Just be sure to log in every 6 months and check on it because if you don't the government can legally take it from you.

            What in the fuck? How does the American government never cease to do the wrong thing? Hold on let me set semi annual reminders to check my Vanguard account.

            4 votes
            1. Durallet
              Link Parent
              This is due to an escheatment law passed by Pennsylvania (Vanguard itself is based in Malvern, PA). This Forbes article and Investopedia might clarify things.

              This is due to an escheatment law passed by Pennsylvania (Vanguard itself is based in Malvern, PA). As far as I can tell, the law in the state you reside in takes precedence.

              This Forbes article and Investopedia might clarify things.