ARE MILLENNIALS THE LOST GENERATION? A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Millennials are often portrayed in the media as lazy, narcissistic and entitled, but these harsh generalisations could not be further from the truth. According to the Rise of the Millennials survey conducted in October 2015 by Standard Life Investments, which seeks to find what motivates millennials, it was found that 61% of the millennials interviewed were worried about the state of the world and felt that they were personally responsible for making a difference.

WHO ARE THE MILLENNIALS?

Millennials are generally characterised as individuals born from 1980 to 2000. These individuals have grown up in a period of profound technological change, globalisation, climate change and economic disruption. This has shaped their world view, behaviour and experiences.

GENERAL TRENDS OF MILLENNIALS ON BUSINESS

Sharing economy For millennials, the idea of ownership is no longer prevalent. They are reluctant to buy items such as cars, homes and luxury goods. They would rather spend money on services that provide access to what they need without necessitating ownership. This has given rise to the “sharing economy”. Social justice and equality According to Forbes, 75% of interviewed millennials said it’s important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit. To millennials brands are no longer as important as the impact their products have on society and the environment.

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE INVESTMENT INDUSTRY

According to asset manager BlackRock, 45% of millennials are more interested in investing now than they were five years ago. And millennials are increasingly looking for investments that reflect their social and environmental concerns. The graphic below highlights the millennials’ clear interest in integrating sustainability into their investment portfolios, according to Morgan Stanley’s Sustainable Signals report of February 2015:

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