Poll finds openness and collaboration fuel Millennials' financial mojo

In-depth survey suggests Gen Y Canadians' fears may be jeopardizing their financial success

Poll finds openness and collaboration fuel Millennials' financial mojo

While Millennials are proactive about their finances and place a high value on money equity, transparency, and partnership, many members of that iconic age demographic are still burdened with financial anxiety.

An in-depth poll conducted by Maru Public Opinion for Meridian found that 55% of Millennials find dealing with money unpleasant and even daunting. The findings are in stark contrast to the perception that one of Canada's most celebrated and talked-about generations has a good sense of money.

According to Naveen Senthamilselvan, Meridian’s Wealth Management Senior Manager: "While Millennials are generally great about saving, setting financial goals and value being proactively involved in their finances and investing, the y are also the most likely to admit to money doubts and anxiety, which may be holding them back from reaching their financial goals."

Generation Y differs from previous generations in that it values collaboration and financial openness. Seventy-eight percent of Millennials (78%) say they've had a serious financial discussion with their partner, compared to 72% of Gen Xers and only 58% of Boomers.

Millennials (60%) want to talk about financial objectives with their parents more regularly, and 30% want to attend joint meetings with a financial advisor, far more than Gen X (12%) and Boomers (9%).

Unsurprisingly, 72% of Millennials feel that debts and other financial obligations should be mentioned before committing to a relationship; Millennial women are more likely to be in favour of full transparency (76%) than males (68%). Women in their twenties are also more likely to agree that money should be discussed early in a relationship (35% vs. 24% for Millennial men).

However, anxiety and financial concerns undermine proactive efforts at financial improvement.

Among 41% of Millennials who regard themselves as knowledgeable about money, 60% said it is critical to learn about and participate in financial planning and investment. But a little more than half (51%) say they’re still saddled with residual money anxiety from childhood. Millennials were most likely to confess their parents were “always worried about money and they were too" (30%) and that money was a source of tension at home when they were growing up (20%).

Despite the fact that more than half of Millennials (58%) have low trust in their financial understanding, the majority (73%) do not engage a financial planner or adviser to handle their money. Instead, 55% of Millennials prefer to handle their own money, 37% believe they don't have enough money for a financial counselor, 31% are concerned about the expense of an advisor, and 20% are unsure what a financial advisor does.

"It's great that Millennials value being actively involved in money and investing, and there's tremendous benefit to learning about financial planning through independent researching, experimenting with apps and listening to others," Naveen said.

He added that talking through objectives with a professional financial adviser, who can recommend specific ways to help an individual attain their goals and gain more money confidence.