“You only live once,” or YOLO, is the call to action that has defined the millennial generation. Most see it as a rallying cry to adventure, but it could also be read as a prescription for caution – an attitude that Canadian millennials seem to be applying to their investments.
A recent survey commissioned by TD asked millennials about their investment strategy in the current low-interest rate, high-volatility market. Based on the results, 36% of millennials don’t know if it’s the right time to invest, and 22 % say it’s definitely not the time. A little more than a third (37%) say they do not invest at all.
“For a generation with such a strong entrepreneurial spirit, it's surprising that Millennials are still hesitating to invest,” said Calvin MacInnis, senior vice president of TD Direct Investing. “However, we're already seeing this group begin to embrace self-directed investing as they feel empowered by the online technology, and we expect this popularity will continue to grow."
Aside from uncertainty with regards to market timing, millennials cite lack of money (46%), lack of financial knowledge (40%), and confusion with navigating tools (24%) as reasons for not engaging in self-directed investing, which MacInnis evidently feels would be an unwise decision.
TD Direct Investing offers three pieces of advice for millennials to invest on their own:
- Act Now: No matter how little capital they have, the present is the best time for millennials to start. A longer time horizon for investments provides better opportunity for compound growth, multiplied returns, and mitigated effects of volatility.
- Brush Up on Basics: Absolute expertise is not essential to start. A reliable cache of resources like videos, webinars, and seminars can go a long way in informing one’s investment decisions, even if they are not seasoned investors.
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Determining one’s financial future should be seen as a journey, not an ordeal. A platform that is user-friendly, intuitive, and equipped with useful resources will definitely encourage new investors to take the first step.
“Younger Canadians are in the best position to take advantage of the current market environment and long-term horizon, and learn how to manage their money independently through self-directed investing,” says MacIniss.
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