Maybe Millennials aren’t as self-indulged and frivolous a generation as everyone seems to think.
According to a new report from investment banking company UBS, Millennials are the most financially conservative generation to come around since the Great Depression. The report, which focused on investors between the ages of 21 and 36, found that Millennials are risk averse when it comes to investing — dedicating 52% of their investment portfolios to cash, compared to 23% cash for other investors. They are also more likely to believe that working hard (69%) and living frugally (45%) puts you on the path to success rather than long-term investing (28%).
As part of that conservative mindset, Millennials are more likely to seek financial advice from trusted friends and family than from a professional. Just 14% of the 1,069 Millennials surveyed said they would consult a financial advisor on a major decision, as opposed to 40% of non-Millennials. They also tend to value advice on the importance of saving money versus investing it.
“When asked qualitatively to describe the best financial advice they’ve been given, the most common theme by far is the general value of saving, followed by living within your means,” the report observes. “This stands in sharp contrast with other generations who frequently say that the best financial advice they received was about investing.”
Here’s a word cloud UBS put together on the financial advice Millennials consider the best:
The report suggests that the conservative Millennial attitude is largely due to trauma from the Great Recession. “Millennials and WWII generation investors are more likely to describe themselves as truly conservative,” the report explains. “This is remarkable given the impact the Great Depression had on the WWII generation and speaks to the potential permanent scarring that 2008 had on the Millennial investor.”