It’s no secret that I am fascinated by the millennials. They represent a demographic that has defied what we have deemed to be normal. There are both pros and cons to that fact, but as the millennials are getting ready to take the economic spotlight, they have become a NexGen mega-trend we cannot afford to miss.
Millennials – largely born between 1982 and 2000 – now make up the largest demographic in the United States after haven stolen the title from the baby boomers. They are a major force around the globe as well, with estimates putting the total number of millennials around two billion.
I expect the demographic to start making huge strides as they begin locking up solid-paying jobs, forming families and becoming first-time homebuyers. That should give you an idea of the many ways to play this trend, but in order to uncover the most profitable we have to embrace their mindset. That’s right, we have to think like a millennial.
That may sound a bit scary, so it’s lucky for you that I tend to surround myself with millennials in both my work and personal life, and I’ve also done years of research on this elusive group of individuals. Sometimes I feel as though the last few years of my life were spent on an inadvertent millennials safari – akin to living in the jungle and learning everything there is to know about monkeys. Some of the biggest takeaways from my research are the basis for the NexGen millennials investment theme.
They Live for Experiences
One of the most interesting characteristics of this group is that it is not – and may never be – a generation focused on things. The millennials are all about experiences, and even with the world at their smartphone fingertips they would rather spend their hard-earned money on things they can do rather than have.
This way of thinking has led to some of the most amazing companies of our time. Think about Airbnb, where you can rent out your house when you’re not using it.
Another company that lets millennials live out their dreams of exploration is Camping World Holdings (CWH). Rather than forking out the cash to stay at a fancy hotel in the heart of city, this demographic would prefer to rent an RV and rough it, so to speak. To millennials, camping is a much better way to enjoy the world.
They Thrive on Competition and Technology
Then there’s the new world of online gaming – eSports. This is the fastest-growing segment within the larger sports and video game industry and is an area I follow closely.
To older investors, a stadium full of people watching others play video games may seem odd, but it’s a real attraction to the millennials and is only expected to get bigger. Already, elite players are being courted to win tens of millions of dollars in competitions, and global viewership is in the hundreds of millions.
Some of my favorite stocks have a home in this trend, including Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), which is one of the world’s largest e-gaming companies. It also has ventures in e-commerce and social media – another trend that the millennials are all over right now.
You can also play the eSports sector with an investment in a broader exchange-traded fund (ETF) like ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (GAMR). This particular fund is composed of 58 stocks related to e-gaming, including big names like Nintendo (NTDOY) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI). It’s also diversified with 36% in Japan, 31% in the United States and 10% in South Korea.
They Love Fashion and Trends
Finally, the millennials are all about being trendy, which was brought to my attention during a trip to Europe last summer. Anytime I explore a new place, especially overseas, I am always on the lookout for fresh investment opportunities. Europe in particular was a great place to spot fashion trends, as Europeans always seem to be the initial trend setters.
One thing that stood out to me was the insane amount of Adidas (ADDYY) merchandise both on millennials and in stores. I follow the notion that you should invest in what you know, so when I came home and did my research I was thrilled to see that the stock turned out to have fantastic investment potential. Now, my subscribers are invested in it for the long haul.
Video Clip: Unending Profit Potential
As you can see, the key to investing in the NexGen millennial mega-trend is thinking outside the box. We can’t directly invest in a growing demographic, so instead we look for secondary plays that will profit as these young adults mature and start to realize their spending power.
We have lots of exposure to the millennials in my NexGen Investing newsletter, and my watch list is filled with many more new and exciting ways to make money as the trend continues to grow. This is the next generation of our world, and if that’s not NexGen then I don’t know what is.
For more of my thoughts on the millennials and the many ways they are affecting our economy for the better, check out a recent appearance I made on Yahoo Finance: