Millennials and Money: What We Found

Daniel P. Simon

Daniel P. Simon


Today, we released the results of a landmark Millennial money study, profiling the financial preferences and habits of Millennials, Americans of 20 to 35 years of age.

Broadly speaking, Millennials do not think or act homogeneously on many financial matters, the data shows. For example:

— Millennials between 18 and 22 years of age say the Great Recession did not impact them, while those at the other end of the age bracket very greatly felt, and continue to feel, negative impact.

— Female Millennials are significantly less likely to take a credit card than their male counterparts.

— Having a high income, being male, and living in a city are predictive of high levels of interest in cloud banking, or banks without physical branches.

The study produced other findings that are useful to executives and marketers at global financial institutions and financial technology firms, as well as the investors that target the financial services sector:

— Millennials love points and perks. The vast majority of Millennials, 88 percent, would adopt more financial products if those products offer more incentive programs.

— Millennials’ trust in banks in dramatically low. They trust governments and press, two notoriously untrusted institutions, more than they trust banks.

— Conversely, 92 percent of Millennials place significant trust in big technology firms.
Millennials care about data safety but not about data privacy.

— Bitcoin is still niche. Only 17 percent of Millennials use the digital currency, and this use is fairly consistent among all sub-sections of the sample.

— Social media influences the financial decisions of men and the affluent more than those of women and Millennials who earn less.

Additionally, Millennial men trust President Trump on financial matters more often than women do. This surprising stat headlined our announcement on the research.

In essence, it would be a mistake for financial marketers to treat Millennials as a homogeneous group. Quite often they are divided dramatically by age or sex. Our goal was to learn how this valued demographic truly thinks and acts, and to add facts and statistics to the craft of financial marketing. We look forward to seeing how this data changes over time.

Note: The survey was conducted between May 1 and May 15. It achieved 401 responses that reached across all ethnicities, income levels, education levels, and locations, and it has a margin of error of +/-5%.