Notes of Auld Lang Syne still hang nostalgically in the air. The sulfur of fireworks yet lingers. Cleaning crews – from Times Square and the Sydney Opera House to the MTV Studios – sweep up remnants of confetti and champagnes drunk and toasted.
While the world wakes to a new year and a new beginning, we take a look back to predict top-of-mind new year’s resolutions. We’ve all read about the differences between millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers in the workplace. But are millennials really that different?
In November, we surveyed over 1100 millennials to understand their needs and attitudes towards personal financial management (PFM) and investment. While in part confirming some long-held “anecdotal” beliefs about millennials’ financial behavior, the study also outright enlightened and surprised us in unexpected ways.
What Confirmed Our Beliefs
Present & Future Movers: Millennials already make up 15% and 10% of all Americans with income-producing assets (IPA) exceeding $2 million and between $1 and $2 million. (Nielsen, 2015)
An Eye for Financial Proficiency: “Managing budgets” and “Gaining personal financial proficiency” are top-of-mind needs for all millennials.
Authenticity over Promotion: When deciding whether to download/try a financial app, millennials are more influenced by genuine user reviews, app star ratings and accurate app descriptions, than by promotional tactics like advertising or editorial featuring on the App/Play Stores.
High-Income Millennials Out-Earn, Out-Engage & Outspend. High-income millennials (HHI exceeding $100K annually) spend more time (7 hours per month, vs 6 for middle-class millennials and 5 hours for the sub-$49K group) and more money annually (approximately 4-to-1) on valuable financial content.
What Enlightened & Surprised Us
Not All Created Equal: While it’s easy to think of all millennials as one homogeneous group, there are clear distinctions between lower-income millennials (household incomes/HHI below $49K), middle-class millennials (HHI between $50 and $99K) and high-income millennials (HHI exceeding $100K per year.)
Highly Fragmented Market: While Mint (by Intuit) enjoys the highest unaided awareness (23%) for PFM apps among millennials, it’s hardly a runaway winner.
Long-Term View among the Middle Class: “Tracking net worth” is especially a priority for upward-mobile middle-class millennials (with HHI between $50 and $99K.)
The Old Is the New Cool. For valuable financial tips & content, millennials still trust traditional investment and financial resources like Forbes, Money Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Click here to download the report. Whether you are a FinTech app or software developer – or even a brick/mortar banking/financial institution, do heed these subtle and not-so-subtle similarities and differences between millennials, so you may best capture their hearts, mindshare and spending power in 2017 and beyond.
To run your own self-serve consumer studies – around personal financial planning, game or app – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On your mark. Get set. Plan and prosper.