"Unlucky" Millennials Have At Least A Few Advantages

I wouldn’t need my 401k if I had a nickel for every article I’ve read about how millennials are doomed: overwhelming student debt, home prices that are out of reach, and freelance gigs with long hours and no benefits.

But millennials have at least four advantages over their baby boomer parents.

First, if the US economy is headed for a recession and a stock market downturn, that’s bad for boomers and their retirement balances.  But for millennials, who may have been avoiding the stock market, it would be an opportunity to buy stocks at cheaper valuations than where they’re currently trading.  They’d have a chance to do what Warren Buffett advises, greedily   buy quality stocks when they’re marked down.

Second, while their parents had to call a broker, fintech start-ups like Robinhood, Acorn, M1, and Webull have made it easier and cheaper for millennials to invest, with mobile trading, no commissions, and the opportunity to buy fractional shares.  And traditional firms like Schwab have been forced to follow suit.

Third, while their parents may just be getting around to adding a Lyft account, millennials are active users of new economy companies from Rent the Runway to Zoom.  AirBnB and Uber probably won’t make Marriott and General Motors obsolete; but millennials instinctively get why these new companies represent attractive investment opportunities, at the right stock price of course.

Last and most important, time is, of course, on millennials’ side; but only if they start investing today.