Risk-averse millennials are straying away from long-term investments in the stock market and favoring cash instead, unlike older generations, according to a new Bankrate report.
Thirty percent of millennials prefer cash as a long-term investment, whereas 33% of Gen Xers (ages 37-52), 38% of baby boomers (ages 53-71) and 44% of the Silent Generation (ages 72 and older) favor the stock market. This leaves millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. labor force (ages 21-36), as the only generation to opt for cash over stocks.
“It’s something they can see, they can touch it. They understand how it works and where it goes,” “Retired Inspired” author Chris Hogan told Dagen McDowell on “Mornings with Maria” on Tuesday.
With less experience and knowledge of the stock market, millennials tend to avoid what they are unfamiliar with, Hogan added.
The retirement expert said money won’t grow in a savings account over a long period of time like it would in the stock market, comparing the market to a grocery store, highlighting that there is always something worth investing in that is “good for you,” while alternatively, there will always be riskier options.
Still, the investing habits of millennials aren’t entirely at jeopardy for 401(k)s and other retirement plans. The report states that millennials are being auto-enrolled into target-date funds – which are mutual funds made up of nearly all stocks when you’re young and then shift to bonds as you age – thus granting them some useful exposure to stocks.
“For investment horizons of longer than 10 years, the stock market is an entirely appropriate investment,” Bankrate Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride said. “Cash is not, and especially if you’re not seeking out the most competitive returns.”