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Millennials Are Unique Investors - Here's Why It Matters

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Did you know millennials are actually more cautious investors than previous generations? Even so, they're influencing the market in big ways.

Millennials care about Impact Investing

They may have good reason to fear financial loss. But putting their money toward something meaningful might be an even stronger pull.

When Millennials invest, they often prefer to explore social impact investing and ESG investing options. In 2021, a record 99% of millennials surveyed said they had an interest in sustainable investing.3

In this way, Millennial investors are quite unique. They care about impact investing, which makes them different from their parents and other generations. That same survey found other age groups had a declining interest in sustainable investing.

Why does it matter? The Millennial generation has the cash to invest (even if they feel hesitant to do so) — and they also stand to inherit trillions of dollars over the next few decades. And when it comes to investing that money, not just any investment will do. Millennials care about social impact, and they want to make a difference.


More information, more influence

Millennials are also well-equipped to make sound investment choices about issues they care about, thanks to the ubiquity of the internet and the democratization of information. Anyone anywhere can learn virtually anything — and younger investors have taken advantage to create their own opinions about how their investment portfolios can do the most good.

Younger investors can do their own research, evaluate companies independently, and draw unique conclusions about the change they can create when focusing on social impact investing. They can drive real change in the financial industry: By withholding investments in companies until they're more socially, environmentally, or politically responsible, Millennials can inspire corporate change.

Millennials wield considerable financial power and influence over the investment options that everyone has. They kicked off the initial interest in ESG investing, and that demand for sustainable options within portfolios means that these investments are now more widely available for everyone.4

And where dollars go, action often follows. Millennials' desire to drive money into impact investing means tangible incentives are on the table for companies (and investment firms) that are wise enough to listen to what this generation is demanding.

When it comes to investing in financial markets, they may not leap before they look very carefully. But when they do leap, they have the economic power to make a real difference, and they know what they say matters. ESG investing and social impact investing will continue to alter the market, so long as Millennials continue to push for change.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Mrinalini Krishna, "Millennials Are Risk Averse and Hoarding Cash via Investopedia," accessed April 25, 2022. Back
  2. Joetta Gobell, Ph.D., "Affluent millennials are economically optimistic," but afraid to invest via Investopedia, accessed April 28, 2022. Back
  3. Rob Csernyik, "Future Returns: Millennials and Sustainable Investing via Barrons," accessed April 25, 2022. Back
  4. Alicia Adamcyzk, "Millennials spurred growth in sustainable investing for years. Now, all generations are interested in ESG options," accessed April 28, 2022. Back