Traditionally, the stock market has been a relatively good way for young professionals to earn money over time, but according to a recent Gallup poll, people under the age of 35 are investing less.
A decade after stockholders lost trillions of dollars in the crash of 2008, younger Americans are still leery of investing their money in stocks. Though the stock market has climbed far above pre-crash levels, the combined percentage of adults younger than 35 with money in the stock market in 2017 and 2018 stands at 37%, down from 52% for people in that age range in the two years (2006-07) leading up to the crash.
Lack of faith in the markets, a shaky administration, and general market volatility may be to blame here. As Dealbreaker's resident millennial, most of my time is spent explaining memes and IOS updates to the elders of the office, so naturally, I have to explain these trends as well. Today I'm going to walk you through some of the better-known reasons we aren't investing as much, as well as the lesser-known reasons.
Lack of faith in the markets
This most obvious reason millennials, or anyone for that matter, avoid investing is the scars we bear from the late 2000's market crash. With the exception of George Soros, most of Wall Street tells us not to worry about a potential bubble, but we've heard this story in years past. By that, I mean I've seen "The Big Short" twice and now feel I have a good enough grasp to say that there was confidence in the stock markets despite the housing bubble.
Our attention spans are way too short
How am I supposed to learn about stocks with WSJ, Reuters, and Bloomberg pumping out articles that take 15 minutes to read? Don't get me wrong, the content is phenomenal and very educational, but Twitter has set the standard at 280 characters. Hell, I had a tough time adjusting to that when Twitter made the bold jump from 140 characters.
Regardless of what you think about Donald Trump, you can recognize his ability to send the market up or down with the power of a single, hastily written tweet. Also, this morning we were given insight into Trump's policy-making strategies, as Wilbur Ross said on CNBC, Trump "Made the tariff decision this morning." So that's it, Trump has an idea in the morning and just decides to slap a tariff that kicks in tomorrow based on his mood. His other strategy is getting a massive Price is Right wheel and spinning it just to see what happens while muttering, "no new taxes" over and over to no one in particular.
Cryptobros everywhere have been touting crypto as the future of currency and finance for many years, and early investors were rewarded in the late fall as we saw crypto prices balloon to all-time highs. Crypto is currently on the downside, but don't worry, I asked a kid in my FINA 3000 class if he was still investing in altcoins and he said, "Hell yeah bro, crypto is the future." With that advice, it's only logical to hop on all the hot ICOs this summer. Another big selling point for many millennials general distaste for cryptocurrency among many Wall Street investors which leads me to my next point.
Old people with authority are telling us to invest
Disruption is second nature to millennials. Just check Twitter. It's mostly teenagers yelling at old people for trying to uphold traditional values. So when a big Wall Street banker tells us that the market is doing just fine, we have the instinctual reaction to say, "Nah." It's just the way we were raised, and we're going to continue to blame baby-boomers for all of our problems.
I don't have enough iCloud space to download Robinhood
Robinhood has revolutionized personal investing with their easy to use, no-fee platform. But you seriously expect me to delete all my videos from Becky's Birthday Blowout just so I can invest the nickels and dimes that I have on stocks that I know nothing about? Not a chance. John went way too hard during the case race and the videos of him dancing are way too funny for me to part ways with.