Can Millennials Save the U.S.Economy? That’s thetitle of a recent, thought-provoking article by Marketwatch contributor MariaLaMagna. She points out some big-picture facts that many pundits tend toforget: at 83 million members strong, the millennial generation is bigger thanits Baby Boomer parents’ generation by a lot. (The article estimates the numberof Boomers at 75 million.)
Crucially, as we’ve all been waiting out the effects of theGreat Recession, the millennial cohort has been growing up. As the economyimproves, they’re landing better jobs and finally moving up the career ladderto earn more. With those extra earnings comes improvements in other areas:they’re paying down student loans aggressively, moving out from their parents’basements, buying houses, even having kids. In five years, LaMagna avers, halfthe American workforce will be millennials, with many entering their peakearning years. Their contributions are crucial to the long-term health of theU.S. economy, with a net aging population as birth rates trend downward.
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What does this mean for investors? For one thing, it’s clear thatmillennial trends shouldn’t be considered niche. The brands millennials supportwill thrive and likely become the blue-chip stocks of the future (if theyaren’t already). Millennial habits and attitudes towards investing will alsohold increasingly serious sway over markets. As a (very large) group,millennials have been slow to invest in stocks, but excellent savers. They leanheavily on technology and automation to streamline their investing lives. Theirconsumer habits have already altered what the “typical” household budget lookslike – why buy a car when ride-sharing has you covered? – and benefited stocksthat cater to those desires. None of these are earth-shaking new thoughts, butwhen you truly consider how big and influential this cohort really is, it makesme realize how much millennials are an unstoppable economic force investors mustreckon with.
What’s the #1 millennial trend you’ve tried to capitalize onin your investing?
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