E*TRADE Study Reveals That Financial Worry is More Pronounced Among Millennials Than Any Other Generation

As Millennial investors forge their financial future, more than two thirds surveyed feel they could be doing better financially

(Photo: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC) today announced results from the most recent wave of StreetWise, E*TRADE’s quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. Results underpin the frustration many Millennials feel as they build their financial foundation. Top insights include:

  • They aren’t satisfied financially. Despite their current income and savings, more than two thirds (69 percent) of Millennials feel they could be doing better.
  • It’s affecting their relationships. More than half (53 percent) of Millennials feel that worrying about finances puts a strain on their relationships with friends and family.
  • And their health. Half (50 percent) of Millennials believe worrying about finances negatively affects their well-being.
  • Social media and TV may be making it worse. Almost three out of five Millennials (59 percent) report that images of exaggerated wealth on social media and television make them feel less successful.

“Millennials arguably have not had the easiest time getting their financial footing—many came into the workforce during a weak job market and may be straddled with high levels of student debt,” said Mike Loewengart, VP, Investment Strategy at E*TRADE Financial. “Compounding these obstacles is the influence of social media, which seems to be amplifying anxiety. Exaggerated images of luxury spending and status often displayed on social sites run counter to the principles of sound wealth building. One would be hard-pressed to find a social media star promoting the merits of getting their employer’s 401(k) match, the purpose of dollar cost averaging, or the advantages of enrolling in an automated investing plan. But these types of disciplined actions are exactly what is needed to help create a nest egg.”

Mr. Loewengart offered a few steps young investors may consider as they build their financial foundation:

  • Define your goals. Ask yourself, what do you want to save for? How comfortable are you with risk? When do you need the money? This will all help define your investing approach.
  • Try an investing tool. Today there are a great variety of digital tools and resources to help plan for some of life’s biggest financial decisions, like buying a house or saving for retirement.
  • Contribute consistently. One of the biggest factors to reaching your goals—hands down—is being disciplined about contributions. Try to avoid emotional investing pitfalls—like timing the market—by focusing on the long term and sticking to your plan. And the earlier investors start saving, the better, as time and compound interest can help your portfolio grow exponentially.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize. Building and maintaining a well-diversified, risk-appropriate portfolio for the long term is one of the most important ways to stay on track to meeting your goals.

E*TRADE aims to enhance the financial independence of traders and investors through a powerful digital offering and professional guidance. To learn more about E*TRADE’s trading and investing platforms and tools, visit etrade.com.

For useful trading and investing insights from E*TRADE, follow the company on Twitter, @ETRADE.

About the Survey

This wave of the survey was conducted from July 1 to July 10 of 2017 among an online U.S. sample of 959 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.16 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by Research Now. The panel is broken into thirds of active (trade more than once a week), swing (trade less than once a week but more than once a month), and passive (trade less than once a month). The panel is 60 percent male and 40 percent female with an even distribution across online brokerages, geographic regions, and age bands.

Referenced Data

Despite my current income and savings, I feel I could be doing better.
TOTAL 25–34   35–54   55+
Agree (Top 2 Box) 65% 69% 70% 57%
Very much agree 17% 24% 21% 8%
Somewhat agree 48% 45% 49% 49%
Somewhat disagree 26% 24% 25% 30%
Very much disagree 9% 7% 5% 13%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box)   35%   31%   30%   43%
Worrying about finances negatively affects my relationships.
TOTAL 25–34 35–54 55+
Agree (Top 2 Box) 37% 53% 38% 19%
Very much agree 9% 13% 7% 4%
Somewhat agree 28% 41% 31% 15%
Somewhat disagree 31% 27% 32% 34%
Very much disagree 32% 20% 30% 47%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box)   63%   47%   62%   81%
Worrying about finances negatively affects my health.
TOTAL 25–34 35–54 55+
Agree (Top 2 Box) 36% 50% 38% 18%
Very much agree 8% 14% 5% 4%
Somewhat agree 28% 36% 33% 15%
Somewhat disagree 32% 31% 33% 33%
Very much disagree 32% 20% 30% 49%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box)   64%   50%   62%   82%
Images of exaggerated wealth seen on social media and television makes me feel less successful.
TOTAL 25–34 35–54 55+
Agree (Top 2 Box) 43% 59% 44% 25%
Very much agree 11% 16% 11% 5%
Somewhat agree 32% 43% 32% 21%
Somewhat disagree 27% 24% 29% 29%
Very much disagree 30% 17% 27% 46%
Disagree (Bottom 2 Box)   57%   41%   56%   75%

“Millennials” defined as age 25–34 // “Gen X” defined as age 35–54 // “Baby Boomers” defined as age 55+

About E*TRADE Financial and Important Notices

E*TRADE Financial and its subsidiaries provide financial services, including brokerage and banking products, and services to retail customers. Securities products and services are offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC). Commodity futures products and services are offered by E*TRADE Futures LLC (Member NFA). Managed Account Solutions are offered through E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Bank products and services are offered by E*TRADE Bank, a Federal savings bank, Member FDIC, or its subsidiaries. More information is available at www.etrade.com.

The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Dollar cost averaging does not ensure a profit nor protect against loss in declining markets.

E*TRADE Financial, E*TRADE, and the E*TRADE logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of E*TRADE Financial Corporation. ETFC-G

E*TRADE Financial Corporation and Research Now are separate companies that are not affiliated. E*TRADE Financial Corporation engages Research Now to program, field, and tabulate the study.

About Research Now

Research Now Group, Inc. is a global leader in digital research data for better insights and business decisions. The company provides world-class research data solutions that enable better decisions and better results for its 3,000 market research, consulting, media, and corporate clients through access to over 11 million deeply profiled business professionals and consumers in more than 40 countries. Research Now operates globally with locations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, and is recognized as the quality, scale, and customer satisfaction leader in the market research industry. For more information, please go to www.researchnow.com.


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