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Millennial Investors, Clichés VS. Reality

They often get labelled the workshy, entitled, narcissistic – the “snowflake generation”. Expecting to be given everything on a plate. Addicted to smashed avocado on toast and overpriced coffee. We’ve all heard the clichés about millennials. Yet this stereotyping obscures the positive influence that they make in today’s society. Born between 1980 and 1996, millennials are one of the biggest generations in history – and they’re about to move into their prime spending years. In the process, they’re gearing up to reshape the economy, using their unique perspectives to change the way we buy and sell, and forcing companies to rethink the way they do business in the years ahead. And nowhere is this influence more obvious than in the way that millennials invest. Traditionally slow to adapt, the investment world has to move quickly to keep pace and attract these new game-changing customers, as they become the most economically powerful.
Playing on the power of technology
So, how are that group of millennials that are active investors, acting differently to their predecessors? Today’s new age of digital transformation means it’s easier – and cheaper – than ever before to invest: people who want to play the markets have easy access to online exchanges, and millennials with less disposable income can experience trading and investing for themselves. And as digital natives, they want full control over their investment journey – and their financial future. According to intelligence provider Raconteur, millennials view technology as integral to the process of investing, with 67% expecting computer-generated recommendations – or “robo-advice” – as standard, rather than working exclusively with a traditional financial adviser. And innovative digital players like Nutmeg and Scalable Capital have been quick to capitalise on this sea change in attitude, offering low-cost professional wealth management from a low initial investment. It’s not just the way that millennials invest that’s shaking up the financial services world; it’s where they invest too. As big institutions fail to connect with younger investors in a way that’s meaningful for them, digital investment platforms are continuing to break down barriers to entry for investing, allowing millennials to target the areas that they see as their “own”, like cryptocurrencies, green energy, autonomous vehicles and genomics.
The “green rush” is taking off

One area that’s particularly piquing the interest of millennial investors is the global medicinal cannabis industry. According to online investing app Robinhood, five licensed cannabis stocks feature among its 50 most-held companies. This is important because the average age of Robinhood’s members is 32, making it a compelling representation of what’s catching the attention of millennial investors right now. So, why are cannabis stocks doing such a good job of reeling them in?

First, medicinal cannabis is something tangible that millennials can understand and can connect with. Second, they’re less likely to be influenced by the stigma previously attached to cannabis and more likely to be tuned into its potential for medicinal applications and use. And third, they’re excited by its huge growth potential. Figures from Prohibition Partners reveal that the value of the UK medicinal cannabis market alone could reach £2.31bn by 2024 creating lucrative investment opportunities as global demand grows.

With the popularity of medicinal cannabis products like CBD gathering strength, investment providers with the vision to market their services to millennials in a way that resonates with them will be well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities going forward. And if they can do that successfully, investing might just become the new avocado toast…

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