Canadian millennials are taking steps to attend to their finances, despite some of the commonly held sentiments regarding this generation. A number of people tend to feel that members of this more internet-savvy age group have shorter attention spans and are more concerned with the next best thing than being focused and responsible. Yet a recent BMO Wealth Management report revealed that millennials are concerned with paying down debt, while an RBC Study indicated that high net worth Millennials are focused on investing.
Millennials are defined as being born between 1980 and 2000, according to research from Goldman Sachs, and the Pew Research Center deems this generation to have been born in 1980 and be "the first generation to come of age in the new millennium."
The BMO Wealth Management Report titled "Generation Why" stated that 29 per cent of millennials cited carrying too much debt as the one financial issue that caused them the most concern. How they would pay for large purchases such as a home or a wedding kept 22 per cent of millennials awake at night. And a further 14 per cent of those who responded to the survey indicated that they were most focused on saving for retirement.
The report also reveals that 8 per cent of young people falling into this category are "highly financially literate."
Most millennials indicated that their biggest worries were job security and opportunities. Yet many of this age range have the education to support their career. Chris Buttigieg, Director, Wealth Institute, BMO Wealth Management was quoted as saying, "Millennials have focused on higher education as the best path to increase their opportunities in a challenging and competitive employment market," hence their concerns about debt; 23 per cent of survey respondents indicated that paying down accumulated debts were their highest financial priority at this time.
Millennials in a more robust financial position - those who are described as "high net wealth" according to an RBC report - are "actively preparing themselves to manage it wisely." Of those surveyed by RBC, 80 per cent "wanted to better understand their finances," which sounds like a positive step for financial wellness of this generation.
The "Millennials and Wealth Transfer" report discovered that millennials want to talk about finances and "proactively seek to improve their financial knowledge." The respondents indicated as such: 69 per cent seek their own financial knowledge, 53 per cent seek knowledgeable individuals for advice, and 46 per cent of respondents manage their own finances.
It is encouraging that this generation is financially intelligent - or at the very least are focused on better understanding their financial health. According to the report, those considered part of this age group are curious about learning, and are conscious of their finances.
Both companies offer up financial advice to millennials. The consensus seems to be that this generation can and should determine financial goals and start planning. Whether they enlist the advice of older relatives, the internet or an institution is up to them. It seems like millennials will take the right steps towards financial literacy in a responsible manner, thus preparing them for future events.