At the dawn of the new millennium, the media went frantic over the possibility of a complete technological meltdown. Y2K bug rumors blanketed the front page of every major professional news publication and magazine. We all know how this story ends, time was wasted, and huge amounts of money were spent. What we can learn from this, is that we should not always follow the path of generalized beliefs, even if it is a widely-held belief.
The decades that followed the dawn of the new millennium have spurred one of the largest generations in western history- the Millennials. In 2013, Time magazine described this group as, “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents.” To be fair, this article is not about entitlement, but about how millennials are a generation of people who are ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. The depictions built around Millennials are nothing more than a set of clichés which are commonly held and oversimplified. Millennials are not the “me” generation Time magazine describes; they are the “we” generation.
Millennials do not want to be labeled by their name; they want to be identified by their culture. Although financial companies tend to market towards them as one homogenous group, engaging them requires additional segmentation and an understanding of the values and factors that drive their financial decisions. Millennials believe their American dream is achievable, and it is about much more than money.
More than 75 million millennials born between 1981 and 1997 are poised to inherit an estimated $30 trillion in wealth from baby boomers in the next 10-40 years. Whom they invest this money with, depends largely on how financial companies position themselves over these years.
Millennials are fast-paced optimists who care less about trends, and more about the values of financial institutions they invest with and in. Millennials want a financial partner who will provide guidance, and they crave education because they want to be in control of their decisions.
Companies become a more valued partner for Millennials as their eyes are opened to new opportunities that help make their money work harder for them. Financial companies who successfully market to Millennials are not only meeting these needs but evolving them.