The millennial generation is far worse off than previous generations at their age. Not only are millennials more heavily in debt than previous generations, their wages aren’t any higher. That means that they’re finding it difficult to accumulate wealth. Yet despite all that they remain positive, with many millennials believing that they’ll beat the odds to make it big.
While it’s always good to hope, millennials’ attitudes might strike many as being delusional. As many as two-thirds of millennials believe that they’ll become millionaires by the time they reach 45. That’s certainly a goal to shoot for, but is it attainable?
Like many younger people today, millennials are likely influenced by seeing their compatriots making it big. From Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel to Bitcoin millionaires to YouTube stars, millennials see their colleagues making lots of money through stock appreciation, speculation, or just “going viral” and think they can do the same thing. They don’t see the time, energy, money, and effort that go into creating a company, maintaining wealth, or marketing oneself.
In many respects millennials have been deluded by the economic recovery of the past decade and especially the economic bubble that has resulted over the past several years. Younger millennials in particular don’t remember the dotcom bubble and its bursting, they don’t remember the euphoria that surrounded tech stocks back then, and so they think that Facebook, Google, Tesla, and marijuana stocks are surefire winners.
Many of them will be brought back to reality once the stock market crashes and the tech bubble bursts. Many will lose thousands of dollars in savings, or even the entirety of their retirement savings. That will undoubtedly sour many millennials on stocks and investing once and for all. A generation that’s increasingly focused on living in the present will become even more so. And that will change the future of finance and investment in this country.