Millennials, born between the years 1981 to 1999, are the biggest generation ever in North America – and they are quickly amassing wealth. They represent 11% of high-net-worth households in the U.S., according to U.S. Trust, “High-Net-Worth Millennials, 2014.”
Putting their economic clout aside, their distinct behaviors and outspoken passions make them major influencers of others. They embrace technology, social media, and the sharing economy – and what they embrace is often embraced (albeit more slowly) by older generations.
74% of Millennials believe they influence the actions of their elders.1
When I started talking to companies about their digital strategy two years ago, every one of those companies started by saying, “We have to do something about those Millennials…” Now the majority of them have not only accepted the need to address Millennials, but they’ve also begun to recognize the power of Millennials’ influence, which impacts Gen Xers to a large degree, Boomers to a substantial degree, and even the Silent Generation a bit. For example, if we look at multi-generational communication and family units, you can almost predict the rate at which grandparents will switch from a traditional device to a smart device so they can Skype or Facetime—it’s essentially as soon as someone in the family has grandchildren!
It’s their ability to “influence up” coupled with their purchasing power that sets this generation apart from others. My next post will explain how the investment outlook of Millennials is different from prior generations – and why it matters.
Read more about Millennials in our white paper, Targeting the Digital Generation, which was based on a study conducted by Broadridge with Roubini ThoughtLab, an independent thought-leadership consultancy. (Download the white paper, Targeting the Digital Generation.)
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