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Who Are Millennial Investors?

Written by: Catherine McBreen | Spectrem Group Life has moved on. Millennials are no longer the youngest adult generation. Gen Z, generally accepted to be those born after 1995, is now producing adults who are making significant life purchases and investing their newfound income.But Millennials remain misunderstood by many observers. Despite the fact the oldest in that generation are approaching 40 years of age, many observers still treat them as young and impulsive investors.Many Millennials now are in high-paying jobs and have a significant amount of investable assets. They are a generation of concentration for many advisors who are closing books on their Baby Boomer clients who have settled into more static retirement portfolios.Because of that move toward Millennial investors, Spectrem has produced a new study of research on Millennials with annual incomes of $100,000 if unmarried and income of $150,000 if married. High Income Millennials alters the landscape of Spectrem studies a bit, as previous studies usually qualify survey participants based on net worth but High Income Millennials is instead studying investors who are making money and deciding what to do with it.Financial literacy is a target topic aimed at Millennials. Because many high schools have stopped teaching basic financial concepts such as maintain a checking account properly, Millennials are often considered behind in understanding higher level financial concepts like investing. But the Millennials surveyed for the Spectrem study disagree.Forty-four percent of Millennials consider themselves to be fairly knowledgeable about investments and finance, and 18 percent consider themselves to be very knowledgeable. That’s 62 percent which put themselves in the knowledgeable category, and that compares to 83 percent of all investors who describe themselves in that manner, according to Spectrem research.So Millennials are less knowledgeable than the entire investment population, the rest of which is obviously older and more experienced.As investors get older, they tend to back away from investments that carry a high risk of losing the principle investment. Younger investors are often considered to be the ones who can take a chance on alternatives or riskier investments.According to High Income Millennials , 42 percent of Millennials consider themselves to be aggressive or most aggressive regarding the risk tolerance on their investments, and 44 percent call themselves moderate investors. Only 14 percent of Millennial investors are conservative investors.Advisors need to consider both the net worth and the income of Millennial investors when discussing investment opportunities and portfolio decisions.And they must cease to think of the Millennial generation as something other than what it is, which is a group of adults making real money and wanting to invest that money wisely.