Study Reveals That Financial Worry is More Pronounced Among Millennials Than Any Other Generation

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E*TRADE Financial has announced results from their most recent study, which showed the frustration many Millennials feel as they build their financial foundation.

Top insights include:

  • “Millennials arguably have not had the easiest time getting their financial footing—many came into the workforce during a weak job market and may be straddled with high levels of student debt,” said Mike Loewengart, VP, Investment Strategy at E*TRADE Financial. “Compounding these obstacles is the influence of social media, which seems to be amplifying anxiety. Exaggerated images of luxury spending and status often displayed on social sites run counter to the principles of sound wealth building. One would be hard-pressed to find a social media star promoting the merits of getting their employer’s 401(k) match, the purpose of dollar cost averaging, or the advantages of enrolling in an automated investing plan. But these types of disciplined actions are exactly what is needed to help create a nest egg.”

Millenials just aren’t satisfied financially. Despite their current income and savings, more than two thirds (69 percent) of Millennials feel they could be doing better.

It’s affecting their relationships: More than half (53 percent) of Millennials feel that worrying about finances puts a strain on their relationships with friends and family.

And their health: Half (50 percent) of Millennials believe worrying about finances negatively affects their well-being.

Social media and TV may be making it worse. Almost three out of five Millennials (59 percent) report that images of exaggerated wealth on social media and television make them feel less successful.

Mr. Loewengart offered a few steps young investors may consider as they build their financial foundation:

  • Define your goals. Ask yourself, what do you want to save for? How comfortable are you with risk? When do you need the money? This will all help define your investing approach.
  • Try an investing tool. Today there are a great variety of digital tools and resources to help plan for some of life’s biggest financial decisions, like buying a house or saving for retirement.
  • Contribute consistently. One of the biggest factors to reaching your goals—hands down—is being disciplined about contributions. Try to avoid emotional investing pitfalls—like timing the market—by focusing on the long term and sticking to your plan. And the earlier investors start saving, the better, as time and compound interest can help your portfolio grow exponentially.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize. Building and maintaining a well-diversified, risk-appropriate portfolio for the long term is one of the most important ways to stay on track to meeting your goals.

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