Millennials More Bullish on Market and Confident of Investment Knowledge than Boomers

Survey sheds light on differences between millennial and baby boomer

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Seventy-one percent of millennial investors predict a bull market in the
next one to three years, compared to 50 percent of baby boomer
investors. Forty-two percent of millennial investors say they are very
knowledgeable about investments, compared to 17 percent of boomers.

These are just two of the key differences uncovered in a study of
millennial and baby boomer investors. To compare generational investment
behaviors and reactions to the market volatility that began late last
summer, Securian Financial Group conducted a survey
of 1,997 investors, inclusive of 1,040 millennials and 957 boomers.

“Confidence is a trait younger generations of Americans have never
possessed in short supply,” said David Kuplic, Securian’s chief
investment officer and executive vice president of Advantus Capital
Management, a Securian asset management subsidiary. “Their natural
self-assurance, along with the market growth most have experienced since
coming of investment age after the financial crisis, could explain the
gap between millennials and boomers, who have experienced many more
highs and lows.”

The survey did find similarities shared by millennial and boomer
investors, but differences were frequent and noteworthy.

Millennials More Confident Across the Board

  • 12 percent of millennials say they are not very knowledgeable about
    investments, compared to 25 percent of baby boomers.
  • While $1 million was most frequently cited by both generations as the
    amount they would need to save to feel confident in retirement, more
    millennials (52 percent) than boomers (45 percent) are confident that
    they’ll reach their savings goal. More boomers (11 percent) than
    millennials (4 percent) are not confident that they will reach their

An Investment Style Surprise

  • A plurality of millennials (39 percent) and a majority of boomers (51
    percent) say they are moderate investors—but surprisingly—more
    millennials (15 percent) than boomers (8 percent) say they are very
    conservative investors.

After Financial Advisors, Very Different Sources for Advice

  • 65 percent of both millennials and boomers seek investment advice from
    financial advisors.
  • The second-most cited source of investment advice for millennials is
    family (54 percent) and for boomers is news outlets (39 percent).
  • Millennials are much more likely than boomers to seek advice from
    money management websites (49 to 29 percent), banks (41 to 15
    percent), friends (39 to 18 percent), blogs (25 to 7 percent) and
    social media (13 to 3 percent).

Millennials More Concerned About Market Volatility

  • More millennials than boomers (42 to 29 percent) expressed high levels
    of concern about market volatility and its impact on them reaching
    their retirement goals (49 to 39 percent). Millennial investors also
    are more concerned than boomers about protecting themselves from a
    volatile market (54 to 43 percent) and understanding the reasons
    behind a volatile market (51 to 37 percent).
  • Millennials are far more likely than boomers to take action (i.e., buy
    more shares, sell shares, shift shares) during periods of market
    volatility. Most boomers—59 percent—say their typical reaction to a
    falling market is to leave their portfolio alone, compared to 37
    percent of millennials. Similarly, in a rising market, 61 percent of
    boomers say they make no changes to their portfolio, compared to 40
    percent of millennials.

“The different levels of concern and reactions to market volatility
could again speak to the experiences of the two generations,” said
Kuplic. “Volatility is a relatively new experience for most millennials,
while boomers have ‘been there, done that’ before.”

Survey Screening
The survey was conducted online in December
2015. The minimum annual household income threshold was $75,000 for baby
boomers (ages 51-69) and $50,000 for millennials (ages 23-38).
Additionally, both generations had to have investments outside of
employer-sponsored retirement plans. More information is available at

1880, Securian
Financial Group
and its affiliates have provided financial security
for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and
retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services
providers, Securian is the holding company parent of a group of
companies that offer a broad range of financial services. Advantus
Capital Management
, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Securian, is an
institutional asset manager specializing in public and private fixed
income, managed volatility, real estate securities and other
income-oriented equity strategies. As of March 31, 2016, Advantus has
$34 billion in assets under management.

DOFU 06-2016


Securian Financial Group
Jeff Bakken, 651-665-7558