What Millennials Can Teach Us

All generations suffer from unfair generalizations and it’s no different for the Millennial generation. Yet, with the leading edge of this generation entering their 40s, many have already formed households and become homeowners. Which is to say that Millennials are full-grown adults with attributes and values that, while perhaps different than other generations, hold lessons for all, regardless of age.

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    What Millennials Can Teach Us

    What Millennials Can Teach Us

    All generations suffer from unfair generalizations and it’s no different for the Millennial generation. Some of the generational aspersions about Millennials are that they are lazy, feel entitled due to being raised where everyone gets a trophy, overly sensitive and obsessed with social media.

    Yet, with the leading edge of this generation entering their 40s, many have already formed households and become homeowners. Which is to say that Millennials are full-grown adults with attributes and values that, while perhaps different than other generations, hold lessons for all, regardless of age.

    Learning from Millennials

    The events that shaped the Millennial generation—9/11, President Obama’s election, gay marriage, the social media revolution, mass shootings, the 2008 credit crisis and the death of Bin Laden—have had a profound impact on their values, outlook and attitude.  This is even reflected in their investment attitudes and perceptions.

    From these ordeals developed a number of admirable traits that other generations may find worthy of modeling, including:

    • The Pursuit of Personal Passions—Whether in their personal lives or in their careers, Millennials are driven to pursue the passions that animate them and provide a sense of satisfaction and self-worth.
    • Striking a More Satisfying Work/Life Balance—Perhaps it was the 2008 credit crisis that taught them the fragility of the employer-employee relationship and the emptiness of subordinating family and friends to work. Whatever the reason, striking a better balance between work and life could benefit all generations.
    • Valuing Experiences Over Material Goods—Can anyone disagree that we’ll remember and relish our road trip through Chile more than the cool car we once had?
    • Embracing Change and New Technology—The pace of change has never been faster; accepting that change is essential to careers and greater life satisfaction.
    • Value Self-Care—Taking care of oneself may seem a bit self-indulgent, but it leads to healthier and happier lives. This goes back to proper work/life balance, as well as attention to mental and emotional health.
    • Maintaining Idealism—Youth of any generation are idealistic by nature, though life’s realities tend to extinguish them. Millennials have retained their sense of idealism, remaining committed to being socially responsible even as they have aged.
    • Striving for Workplace Equality—Millennials expect and demand a diverse workforce. They welcome different perspectives and value how they improve business decisions and outcomes.

    So, yes, Millennials can be a head scratcher of a generation, but it shouldn’t keep non-Millennials from appreciating their better qualities and adopting a few of them for themselves.  To that end, financial advisors should consider working with Millennials as clients, but also employing Millennials as a succession method.

    Please reference disclosures: https://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/

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