By: Laura Hanichak Gregg
Director of Client Development
FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds
Millennials tend to hold higher expectations about the opportunities for which they qualify than their predecessors held. They are not on a quest for handouts; instead, they tend to follow the principle of “risk and reward." As the most educated generation to date, they seek economic affirmation of the hard-won credentials they bring into the job market.
According to a 2016 Manpower survey, millennials have not allowed the lackluster economy they inherited to dampen their hope nor confidence in the marketability of their skills. Two-thirds of this group “are optimistic about their job prospects." Also, “Sixty-two percent are confident that if they lost their main source of income tomorrow, they could find equally good or better work within three months."
Whether it's their feelings about the economy or their general attitude toward forging a career, millennials also expect to work longer than prior generations. Manpower data indicate that, “globally, over half half expect to work past age 65, with 'twenty-seven percent expecting to work over the age of 70.'" Financial advisors may want to know that as much as 12% of the supposedly “entitled" generation say they “will likely work until the day they die."
This generation's confidence should not be dismissed as entitlement or narcissism. Instead, view it as their ability to recognize that continuous skill development is a key strategy for remaining employable. The Manpower poll also reveals that ninety-three percent of millennials value ongoing education to the point where they will spend their own resources to achieve it.
Millennials are gearing for lifelong learning and productivity, not looking to avoid paying their dues. The largest living generation, millennials make up an estimated 35 percent of the workforce. The way this demographic lives, works and invests will shape the future of the financial markets, making it increasingly crucial to look past the surface of the stereotypes. Financial advisory firms can take on potentially rewarding challenges by tapping into millennial confidence and high expectations in the face of tough economic constraints.