How & Why Millennials are Changing the Investment Conversation

Jul 28, 2014 1:05 PM ET

How & Why Millennials are Changing the Investment Conversation

By Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation 

  Amidst all the talk about the trillions of dollars in wealth transfer and flood of stats coming-out about millennials, I thought I’d spend some time talking about what I see millennial investors doing as it relates to investing. I do so from my role at Calvert Foundation, working with investors, their financial advisors, their brokerage firms, and the entrepreneurs and organizations creating local solutions in their communities. I also do so as a millennial myself, if you allow for the term to refer to those born in the earliest quoted starting window of 1978 – 2000 as many do, and I’ll ride my borderline millennial status to use “we” throughout. While we have very diverse perspectives, I certainly identify with the studies that say millennials are more inclined to want their jobs, purchases, and investments to have a positive impact on the world. Here are some of the exciting things I already see millennials bringing to investing.    Millennials are Getting Involved in Investing Earlier   Many of us have recognized earlier on that how we spend and invest our money has an impact. Some see this as small, some recognize it as significant, but we’re more likely to have learned something along the way about finance and economics to at least know it’s important and be curious about it. We often question the sometimes traditionally held notion that investing is separate from other aspects of our lives and best handled by professionals without much involvement from us. Many of us are eager to learn about investing and what it can do for us personally and our communities.    I see this curiosity in millennials testing the waters, so to speak, with their money. We’re growing-up with websites like Kiva, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter, allowing us to put small amounts of money toward people and projects we are interested in, and in some cases are our friends’ ventures. That ability to conveniently engage financially is translating to how we invest as well - from choosing a bank, to looking for investment ideas and ultimately to investing. At Calvert Foundation, we see college students starting to invest $20 to $100 in support of issues they care about, and years later those same people investing more when they have more. It will be interesting to see if and how that trend continues.     Overall, I see more millennials thinking about aligning their money with their lives. At various points they are making time to learn about investing...

Justin's article continues here


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