Why Aren’t Millennials Investing?

millennials investing

Why aren’t millennials investing?

Millennials investing seems to be a scarcity in this decade, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. So what’s the problem? Why aren’t we millennials investing more?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know personally, my top reasons for not investing in earlier years are as follows:

 

  • Lack of funds. When I first graduated college in 2009, I was feeling the recession along with many other freshly graduated college students.
  • Lack of knowledge. I never felt confidently enough to invest. I thought the risk was much too large and that the return would reflect this.
  • Lack of skill. I did not create a steady budget for myself nor did I have any type of savings. My personal finance skills were nonexistent.

Over the years, I’ve educated myself and learned the importance of investing. I’ve also improved my personal finances by taking the time to grow my savings and seek out financial opportunities. But, despite the improvement of the economy over the years, the rate of millennials investing is still low. Why is this?

Various studies show similar reasons as mentioned above as to why the amount of individuals that dedicate time to invest is lower than in previous generations. If parents were not encouraging or enforcing the investing, it seems to have rarely happened on its own. Or rather, it takes longer for it to happen on its own.

We need answers.

While this age group tends to be stereotyped as self-centered and entitled folk who are focused on instant gratification and all things digital, these studies portray a different (and more accurate) light. In addition to simply a lack of investing confidence, Merrill Lynch’s Private Banking and Investment Group’s survey on millennials and money shows that this generation is very careful in making investment choices. They want to be “shown the math.”

We want more control.

Merrill Lynch’s survey also found that trust is a big issue for millennials investing. In fact, 72% of the 153 young Americans surveyed stated that they are “self-directed in their investing.” We’d rather be the ones making the decisions than having an adviser we don’t trust working with our cash. We want to invest with people or resources we personally trust rather than just any certified professional.

We’re more conservative (when it comes to investing).

Millennials, in terms of money, have been compared to post-Great Depression era. We not only watched what happened to our parents in the early 2000’s due to the stock market crash and recession, many of us experienced it ourselves after college. Jobs were harder to come by, and therefore, our focus has shifted. We are just as concerned about our parents and their future as  they are with us. UBS Investment Bank’s 2014 survey confirms this notion. We do our research and are much less willing to take high risks with our money. Although high risk investments do often yield high returns, we are typically holding more than half of our assets in cash, according to the research.

Surprisingly, the results of these surveys show that it is more about being careful and not as much about student debt. We are still feeling the effects of the financial crisis, and this generation needs more education on the topic in order to confidently create a diversified financial portfolio. Millennials tend to have more short-term investments instead of long-term, and we also tend to care more about life experiences than substantial wealth.

The good news is that there are more online tools and resources to help educate and guide millennials on investing. WiseBanyan and Acorns are just a couple of examples of investing sites to get a beginner started. Additionally, if nothing else, young Americans should at least focus on a retirement account as their form of investing, whether it be a workplace 401(k) plan or a Roth IRA.

Knowing the importance of investing is the first step in this process, and it’s one that we need to know we can truly benefit from with the right tools and knowledge.

Are you a millennial who invests? What routes do you take?

 

Tips for Finding Your First Job After College

first job after college

Finding that first job after college can be hard. These tips can help.

Following your last finals and finally saying goodbye to college, the real world hits you pretty quick. While I am sure you can remember many late and difficult nights meeting deadlines during your studies, job hunting becomes the next big challenge in your life. Finding that first job after college can be a full-time gig in itself.

This can be a difficult time for many graduates. As employers look for experience, and you seek to obtain it, you may feel discouraged or lost as you apply. But, before you throw in the towel, here are some tips for finding your first job after college:

  • Update your resume. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many recent college grads miss the mark on this one. Do a little resume audit, and make sure it is updated with recent relevant information. Include your grade point average (GPA) and any college or other activities, including community volunteering. It is commonly recommended to attempt to keep your resume one page long, but this can be difficult. Try not to exceed two. Always update it when you gain new skills. You don’t need a new job to attain new knowledge. Examples include learning a new language or website coding in your now free time. These talents should be added on your resume.
  • Look for internships. Opportunities are often right under your nose. If you are having a hard time finding internships in your area, try to create one for yourself from a company in which you’d like to work. Internships are a great way to build experience that you can include on your newly updated resume. Even if you have a couple internships under your belt already from college, you may need to do more until an employer takes your bait.
  • Follow up with your connections. Throughout your college years, you’ve been exposed to connections you may not even realize you have. Reach out to old professors from your major to see if they can inform you of available positions.  If you completed any internships that did not lead to an employment opportunity, follow up with them to see if there are any openings or if they can provide you with a reference. Networking is a great way to find a new job without using a resume. Friends and families can also be a part of your job network. Be sure to ask for help as you continue the job hunt. Not to mention, you can check with your Alma mater’s career office to check on any upcoming opportunities.
  • Attend career fairs. Face to face interactions still prove to be effective. Being able to talk to potential employers in person is important so that you can ask questions, make a first impression and discover jobs that will match your skill set. Many colleges host these career fairs, but you don’t always need to be a college student to attend them. Check local community boards and websites to see what job fairs may be coming up in your area.
  • Be flexible. Jobs do not need to be black and white. If a company has room for growth or potential for you to utilize your degree, you should consider applying even for positions outside of your field. For example, if you are hoping to make it as a social media manager in a big corporate company, try applying for a front desk or assistant position first to try working your way up. Don’t worry if you do not get nor find that dream job after college; if they were easy to obtain, everyone would have a dream job.   A lot of people end up going with alternatives like an online criminal justice degree instead of attending brick and mortar institutions.
  • Don’t rely on one resource. There are multiple resources you can use when applying for jobs. Sites like Indeed.com as well as your local career center are just a couple examples. The more you are able to distribute your experience summary to potential jobs, the better your chances of landing one quickly after college.
  • Personalize your materials. You will have a better chance of standing out to employers if you personalize both your cover letters and resume to the job listing. Don’t talk about your gardening skills in the cover letter if the job is for writing English papers. Make sense?

One of the most important things to remember during the application process is  to keep applying. You may face rejection, but this is a normal part of the process and should be expected. Keep going anyway, even though it can be a daunting task. Stay positive and remember that every time you get your resume out, you are regularly exposing yourself to new opportunities. Practice makes perfect, and the more you apply, the closer you are to landing  that first job.

What tactics did you take when applying for your first job after college?

What You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home can be both exciting and stressful. It’s typically a sign of a new adventure ahead, whether it is moving to a new area for a job or even downsizing to start a new milestone in your life.

With the real estate market flourishing right now, depending on where you live, you may have an easier time putting your house on the market now than you did in previous years. However, regardless of how well the market is doing, you still need to be aware of some do’s and don’ts of real estate. Here is what you need to know before selling your home:

Speak with a professional.

Even if you are selling your home on your own, hiring a real estate attorney will be helpful to have some legal eyes look over your contracts and paperwork. Catching any flaws before any sales are finalized can help to save you money in the future.

Put it online.

Online house listings make your home even more visible to the public along with providing quick updates regularly to browsers.

Hire an inspector.

You’ll save yourself so much time and energy by having a qualified individual come in and inspect your home. You should consider doing this before you even put your house on any listings or begin showing it so that you can strengthen your sale price by making any repairs or updates as needed.

Focus on curb appeal.

Take some time to improve the curb appeal of your home in order to attract more buyers. Invest in some simple landscaping and keep your lawn tidy (if applicable), raking leaves in the fall and clearing your sidewalks of snow in the winter. Think about what attracts you to a new property and apply this concept to your own home.

Price your home in line with both the area and market.

As tempting as it may be to price your home that extra 100 grand you feel it is worth, doing so may turn off potential buyers. You can attempt to go a little above market price, but talk with a trusted professional on what they would advise.  If you are in a location that has many individuals selling their home, you will have a hard time attracting a buyer if your price is out of range.

Have your paperwork ready.

Being as prepared as possible will help keep things flowing as best as possible when you are ready to put your house on the market. You’ll be able to answer any questions about taxes, the property and the like with ease by having any and all documents associated with the house on hand. Different questions may arise not only from the potential buyer but also from your listing agent or attorney.

Get rid of the clutter.

Before you even start showing your house, clear out your closets, get rid of clutter and make it look even extra homey by adding in some house plants in various rooms. The key is to show space to those coming to consider buying your home. If they can not only imagine themselves living there but see how much space is available, you will be helping to boost the sales process along so that you can move on with your new adventure.

Hire your own real estate agent.

Although an added cost, having your own agent is a great way to obtain the price negotiations that are favorable to you. Agents representing buyers have more of a loyalty to their client instead of helping you sell your home, so they will be trying to get the best deal for their customer. Thus, if you have your own agent, you’ll be able to counteract professionally with rates that are close in alignment to your selling goals.


 

Selling your home can be intimidating (and nerve-wrecking), but by following the above tips and doing your research, you will gain a much better handle on the process. Just keep these in mind with each real estate sale.