Now That They Have Money, How Are Millennials Investing It?



There are approximately 80 million Millennials and many of them are coming into their own from a financial standpoint.

But, like the generations before them, Millennials differ from each other in the amount of money they have, and what they do with it once they have it. It is improper for financial advisors to treat them as one sub-species of investor; they require a much more subtle approach to advising.

Spectrem’s ongoing research into investor attitudes has identified five different types of Millennials, and has designated them with identifying personas related to their wealth level and investment habits. (For information on all of the personas, please check out our report here.)

The largest in number of these five personas is The Climber.  Almost one-quarter of all Millennials fit into this persona. The Climber is not the wealthiest Millennial (that would be those named No Worries) but The Climber does have an average net worth of $3.3 million, and distinguishes himself because of his occasional reach into very aggressive investment strategies.

The Climber is likely to make more money in the short term with that attitude, and with the financial wherewithal to invest strongly when advised to do so. The good news is that Climbers like working with advisors (71 percent have a financial advisor), operating on the belief that strong and knowledgeable advice can get them farther along from a financial standpoint.

But Climbers have specific demands of their advisors more so than the other Personas. More than 90 percent expect their advisors to offer a variety of products for them to choose from. Almost two-thirds expect their advisor to have advanced social media presence, and that same percentage wants to have face-to-face meetings with their advisor monthly, if not more often.

The Climber is likely employed in a field that promotes self-confidence. From a percentage standpoint, they are likely either lawyers or consultants or in the information technology field. With their own knowledge of investments, 83 percent of Climbers consider the track record of an investment as an indicator of a strong investment choice.

Climbers distinguish themselves with their asset holdings, with almost half of their investable assets in equities. Interestingly, among all five Personas, The Climbers have more of their investable assets in cash (25 percent).

They are also wise enough to consider outside influences on their wealth, and to worry about them. Exactly two-thirds of Climbers worry about government gridlock, watch the stock market trends carefully, while 50 percent worry about the low interest rate and await changes in the federal prime rate.


The other Personas, by name, are No Worries, Family Matters, On My Own and The Worrier. To learn more about them, click here.