How the Investment Outlook of Millennials is Different from Prior Generations


Millennials know more about investing – including financial issues about risk, returns, diversification, and global markets – than other generations.

According to our white paper Targeting the Digital Generation, Millennials’ are financially literate on many levels: they realize that investment costs matter as much as returns, that index funds typically do as well as active funds, and that they can use derivatives to de-risk portfolios. Interestingly, rather than measuring returns against a market benchmark, Millennials are focused on meeting a holistic set of life goals. (Download the white paper, Targeting the Digital Generation.)

How does this apply to companies outside of financial services? Millennials expect companies to thoroughly understand their goals and personalize recommendations in light of them – and this applies to all industries. And does this apply to other generations? Absolutely.

I often consult with companies and share that Millennials demonstrate a way of looking at the world. Gone are the days where we can say, “This is what I’m selling. If you like it, great… here it is.” It’s more about discovering “What do you want as the consumer?” This is the new reality.

Millennials expect a personalized experience and this influential group continues to raise the bar. In many ways, Millennials are still forming their views, and, as a result, their views can sometimes seem contradictory. Companies will need to be aware of this when developing relationships with them and delivering personalized experiences.

As “digital natives” who grew up with the Internet and mobile technology, Millennials also expect a digitally driven, omni-channel experience. They are willing to meet face-to-face and speak over the phone, but they prefer digital communications and methods, such as texting, use of mobile devices, online portals, and social media platforms. Social media presence is increasingly important – maybe even more important than a company website. They are also open to the idea of telepresence and web collaboration platforms – much more so than Baby Boomers.

Types of communication channels Millennials plan to use in the next five years (percent of Millennials)1

It’s an ever-expanding digital ecosystem, with apps like Evernote, Amazon Drive and Dropbox, and companies need to interact in the channels that Millennials frequent. Otherwise, they risk missing out on engagement opportunities that help them win over – and keep – Millennials.

If you’re interested in developing a strategy for Millennials, you won’t want to miss my next post.

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1 “Targeting the Digital Generation, Broadridge and Roubini ThoughtLab”