Bartender: So, I was talking to my younger brother. … he’s 22 … he is so scared of the stock market and he is asking me to pull my money out. … Why is this so risky?
Greg: This generation has been in the biggest retirement savings movement in history and yet they are more likely to drive 80 mph down the interstate while texting, tailgating and changing lanes without signaling in the rain than they are to put their 401(k) money in the stockmarket. They think that’s risky.
Jean: But if you think about where they are coming from, it makes perfect sense, right? These are the kids that watched their parents go through the crash, lose a ton of money in 2008/09. … what I think is so interesting about them is they are really good savers. They can put it away; they just have to put it to work.
Greg: I absolutely agree. They have the memo on the importance of savings and why is that? Because their financial, informative years were during the financial crisis and for some of them, even before that with the tech loss. So they saw two sharp market drops within a seven or eight-year period and it really scarred them. As a result, they realize how important saving is, but they don’t have that appetite to take any risk. I think for long-term savings, like their retirement, they are going to have to change that mentality.
Jean: Companies now are automatically enrolling their employees into a mutual fund that invests according to their age and according to what their risk tolerance should be. The problem is that so many of these kids are not working for companies that have those things. They are working for themselves; they are working a couple of gigs, so they have to couple it together.
Greg: When they do land on a company that has a 401(k) plan, that auto enrollment and auto escalation, where each year they automatically increase the amount that is coming out of your paycheck, that’s going to be absolutely incredible to them in building that nest egg and building that habit in saving. You won’t miss it if you don’t see it.
Bartender: How do I convince him about it? He doesn’t work full time. He’s independent. How do I convince him?
Jean: One thing I have learned about millennials is that they listen to their parents more than they listen to anyone else about their money.
Greg: He’s got time on his side and that’s really his biggest ally in accumulating that nest egg for retirement. So he starts now and that’s the good decision … that he will benefit from a decade from now; establish that habit of saving now and harness the power of compounding and giving voluntary money, he can afford to take some risk. Your risk over the long term is that you’ve invested too conservatively and you didn’t get that power of compounded.