Millennials shine in survey, while boomers appear self-absorbed?

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Millennials are a more sharing and caring generation than baby boomers, according to a survey by global investment services company UBS.

UBS surveyed 3750 investors across 15 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany and Hong Kong, in May. The respondents comprised three age groups: 25 to 30-year-olds with at least $250,000 in investable assets, 31 to 39-year-olds with at least $500,000 in investable assets, and those aged 40 or older with at least $1 million in investable assets.

The younger investors were found to have borne the brunt of the financial impact of the pandemic. Nearly three-quarters said they were financially affected by the virus – compared with 66 per cent of baby boomers – and they rated concerns about job security, declining income and potentially delayed retirement more highly. But at the same time, 69 per cent of millennials said they were ‘highly interested’ in sustainable investing (defined by UBS as investment strategies that ‘aim to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations into investment process and portfolio construction’) because of the pandemic, compared with less than half of baby boomers.

And 60 per cent of millennials said they wanted to get involved in philanthropy, compared with 35 per cent of boomers.

More than a third of millennials revealed they had increased their financial support of family members and friends during the pandemic, compared to just 17 per cent of boomers.

That sentiment was echoed in YourLifeChoices’ 2020 Life In A Post-Pandemic World survey, which received 4575 responses in just under thee weeks in May. Asked if they would consider using equity in their home to financially assist family members struggling as a result of COVID-19, 53 per cent said no, while another 24.5 per cent were unsure or said maybe.

Half of those surveyed by UBS said they were more aware of their retirement savings balance now than before the crisis, with 57 per cent saying they needed to review their investments.

UBS reports that seven in 10 respondents said they had been burnt by the virus, with 25 per cent rating the impact as ‘significant’. Eighty-one per cent feared a second market decline before COVID-19 was contained and just over half said they doubted whether they had enough cash to ride out a second wave infection.

A total of 67 per cent said the pandemic had changed how they think about their money, and 86 per cent said they wanted more guidance than usual from their financial advisers.

“As investors navigate the COVID-19 crisis, they are seeking the latest insights and more tailored advice on how to achieve their financial goals,” Tom Naratil, co-president of UBS Global Wealth Management, told Business Insider. “The pandemic is causing many of them to rethink how they will fund their liquidity, longevity and legacy needs.”

Amid the threats to their lives and livelihoods, most respondents reported they had rediscovered the joy of family, the importance of feeling safe and secure and the value of health.

“The pandemic and its aftermath inspired investors to focus on the things that truly matter to them: spending more time with family, protecting loved ones and safeguarding their health,” the survey report said. “What’s more, many investors expect to change fundamental ways of living – travelling less, working remotely, decamping to new locations.”

A heightened awareness of super was also a feature of a consumer survey by accounting firm KPMG. It found Australians were more engaged with their super than ever before. Half of respondents said they were more aware of their retirement savings balance now than before the crisis and 57 per cent said they needed to review their investments.

Are baby boomers a miserly lot compared with millennials?

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Total Comments: 42
  1. 0

    An almost irrelevant survey, as many baby boomers, including my wife and myself, have nowhere near the ‘investable assets’, and hence the freedom to invest and spread money around. Maybe that’s why we are considered to be ‘miserly’.

    • 0

      Totally agree…I’ve always been single, and I had less than 20 years of working years for super. No investment properties, share port folios. Even my nieces and nephews in their thirties now have more super than I ended up with.
      I’m on the full aged pension: I don’t throw my money around or away, I live frugally, and if those surveyors want to call that ‘miserly’ – go for it!

    • 0

      SunnyOz…best comment I have seen, good for you and I feel the same way. Many self entitled people are not handling this pandemic well, no such thing as resilience, carrying on about what they have lost…such as not being able to go out to restaurants, party etc. My parents lived the through the world war and didn’t have much and are stunned about the whining during this pandemic….money doesn’t always make one happy, I have appreciated more what I have now…don’t need much to make me happy. Simple little things matter.

  2. 0

    US, UK, GERMANY AND HONG KONG……..NOT Australia!!
    Australian Millenials (mostly) are full of self entitlement and expectations of why nots, it’s mine, I need and deserve it, I’m important etc. Etc. But then it really is the parents change in raising / rearing, which changed when Dr Spocks book was deemed dastardly and cruel.

    • 0

      Thus the more appropriate term I prefer: generation “me”

    • 0

      I agree with you both. Baby Boomers built the best of this world, even if there were some mistakes. Like creating the Millennials. No I dont really mean that. I love them and even the Zs. I have Z grandchildren and they are great and I think are ready to change the world for the better, as we BBs did.

    • 0

      BB’s also desecrated and ruined the world for future generations! Still ruining it! All “old” has-been men with “old fashioned” laws/views on life in general are the majority of “rulers” of most major “power” countries!

      Only the younger generation can change the world (what’s left of it for them!)

  3. 0

    Who wouldnt seem self absorbed knowing that endless years of life are not ahead.

  4. 0

    What is happening in the US and UK has no bearing on what is happening in Australia.

    Also, the YourLifeChoices survey question is misleading. The 53% of people who said ‘no’ to using the equity in their home to help a family member may have been the poorest people in their family, or may have had enough money to help family members without touching their home equity. Without knowing why they answered ‘no’, you can’t label boomers as less caring and sharing.

    • 0

      My thoughts exactly, Fedup. I’d have answered ‘no’ too, because my family members are all far better off than I have ever been, though some of them would claim otherwise (and probably genuinely believe their claims, since their expectations and lifestyles are so different from ours).

  5. 0

    Stupid survey. Most Boomers don’t have further earning capacity and need to closely watch their spending . The Boomers I know help the younger ones financially as much as they can , don’t like taking risks with the little capital they may have , are actually aware that it has to last the distance and they don’t want to become a financial burden to their offsprings .

  6. 0

    Correction on previous post . Ugh auto correct . Should read ‘ Acutely aware ‘ NOT actually aware

  7. 0

    May be, like this pre boomer, they had already stretched their capacity to assist in assisting their millennials to & beyond a sensible limit in helping get these kids into the housing market.

  8. 0

    I am not surprised at the results of this survey. The younger generation have had the benefit of a much better education system and possibly the experience of a lifetime of struggle by their parents. At least some of the younger generation have listened to their parents and worked hard at school and started saving from birth. I also think there are more parents out their now who can give better financial and lifestyle advice to their children. Unfortunately in my era too many parents had the attitude that it was a waste of money to educate females as they just got married. To just get married was the only aim for most of us, both male and female. The father was the head of the household and all financial responsibility lay on him. How things have changed. How sad for those who relied too heavily on their marriages for support and now find themselves divorced later in life and sometimes without adequate skills to compete for the jobs. It looks as though most readers here would appreciate some more positive and appropriate to our age group articles from YLC.

  9. 0

    This study is not realistic. How many of the quoted cohorts have anything like that much money in investments? Our younger generation has time on its side to enhance their savings, while Baby Boomers’ chances to earn a feasible income are limited due to age discrimination in the workforce, and the increasing costs of health care and medications to just stay alive!

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