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- Millennials have now dealt with two major recessions before the age of 40, and it’s likely to make them more conservative investors than their parents were.
- Just as this generation recovered from the Great Recession and began to buy homes and start families, the pandemic hit.
- This generation might see recessions as an inevitability to be anticipated rather than a sporadic event, and not invest as aggressively as they could as a result.
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Since the coronavirus changed daily life in March, the stock market has become a roller coaster. While markets have rallied enough to erase pandemic losses, historic unemployment has been an underlying issue. It’s likely that people won’t think about investing the same way afterwards.
For millennials, who came of age during the Great Recession, investing might not have the same appeal that it did for other generations. Business Insider asked two financial planners how they expect to see their younger clients’ habits change after the coronavirus recession, and both expected to see these people become more conservative.
Business financial make money capital trading Millennials are living through their second major financial setback
After years of struggling with student debt and increased living costs, the millennial generation was just starting to get their footing financially after dealing with their first recession. After the coronavirus pandemic, they’re facing another setback.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 36% of Americans who are unemployed are millennials or just slightly younger, between 20 and 34. Typically, anyone between 23 and 38 is considered a millennial.
“Someone who graduated from college in 2007 would be 35 today. They entered a very difficult market [after graduating] and they’re just getting their feet on the ground, purchasing a home or starting a family,” says Marguerita Cheng, financial planner and founder of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Now, they may be facing unemployment and other financial uncertainty because of the coronavirus.
Business financial make money capital trading Even millennials who want to invest might be more cautious
Typically, younger people can be more risky with their investments, since they have many years to let investments recover before they need the money for retirement. Investing more aggressively when you’re younger and have a long time for your investments to ride out market fluctuations can make for better returns over time.
But today’s young people might not be willing to take the risk. “Even though they have the capacity for risk, meaning they’re long-term investors, they may feel like they don’t have the tolerance for risk,” Cheng says.
“I think the Great Recession plus [the pandemic recession] has really pushed people to be more conservative than the traditional financial planning models would have them be,” says financial planner Anna N’Jie-Konte, founder of Dare To Dream Financial Planning. She thinks that her clients who came of age during the 2008 recession and are now in their 30s and 40s might opt to be more conservative as a result.
“The Great Recession was easily explainable as something we can regulate against. But this is not something that can be easily controlled,” N’Jie-Konte says. “Even if all the stars aligned, these kinds of things are always going to come out of left field. And I think that the reality of that is very clear to a younger clients, and I think it’s going to shape their perspective on finances long-term.”
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