Millennials are often portrayed as the black plague for our country’s future. We are referred to as lazy, ungrateful, and incompetent. The consensus is that we will be detrimental to the future of our country because we don’t have a clue, but just how could that be? We are just beginning our adult lives and haven’t had a real impact on hardly anything yet. Most of the issues we face today started well before we were born. With our generation inheriting a seemingly endless national debt, a monumental student loan crisis, and little to no social security to utilize, how on earth could the most financially distraught generation be portrayed as becoming the wealthiest ever?
Here’s some insight into answering that question…
Entrepreneurship: Millennials have an undeniable drive to be independent and receive any and all praise associated with their accomplishments. What better feat to tackle than an aspiration to become self-employed? Unlike any generation has seen before, millennials are overhauling the entrepreneurial world. With the advances in technology, working remotely is seemingly becoming the norm and what generation is better suited to work from anywhere utilizing the vast array of technologies available to us than millennials? With small businesses popping up all over, millennials could really help strengthen the backbone of our economy and propel us into having a financial surplus instead of an overwhelming deficit. Come on you twenty and thirty-somethings! Launch that business you’ve always wanted to and get moving on changing the world already!!
Tactical Investors: Unlike generations before us, pretty much all millennials know, is a lagging economy and down markets. We don’t really know what it’s like when times are good. Small peaks we’ve experienced throughout our time as investors has given some millennials hope, but for the most part all we understand are uneasy market conditions and matching reactions from friends and family when it comes to investing. We have lived through the dot-com bubble; which burst in 2001, we have seen our country go into the Great Recession after the financial crisis in 2008, and we have seen the markets experience severe volatility in-between, making investing more and more difficult, especially for those emotional investors (and we all know millennials are the generation of feelings). Millennials however, (resilient as we are J) have been able to take advantage of most, if not all of these negative market conditions; because time is on our side. We have 30-40 years until retirement and will likely experience more economic downswings in the future. These dips create an excellent buying opportunity and many millennials have been able to buy in low and reap the rewards when the market returns to normalcy.
Technology: Advances in technology over just the past three decades have significantly changed the course of our future, in many aspects. Computers that used to fill the size of a room can now fit in our pocket. Waiting for the internet dial-up to connect is a thing of that past whereas now if your BuzzFeed article takes more than 6 seconds to load, it’s no longer important enough to read. Our leaps and bounds in technology will continue and the hope is, that it will further propel our economy into financial soundness. Trades on the stock market that used to have to be called in on a landline phone (I’m sorry, what is that again?), are now done in mere nanoseconds from the palm of your hand. There is unprecedented access to financial tools both for education and investment purposes. We can now invest spare change if we so choose! The benefit of all this to my fellow millennials is; if we start saving early and can utilize the power of compounding interest, a significant increase in wealth will be realized.
Millennials are a unique generation. We have endless opportunities available to us that weren’t available to previous generations. We can work from virtually anywhere, we can be tactical, and we can use our advanced knowledge of technology to make financial decisions with the touch of a finger. Being able to learn from mistakes made by our parents and grandparents has given us the tools to understand patterns and what doesn’t work, and has truly set us up for success. We must not forget what has happened throughout history, or we will be bound to repeat it. If the millennial generation can really hone in on our talents and all the opportunities and wealth of knowledge the twentieth century has provided for us; I believe we can very well become…the wealthiest generation of all time.