Five Truths About Millennials and Money

by Tina Hay 0

Hands holding mobile phone with Mobile banking, Mixed with business graphic background

1. Millennials are interested in starting andrunning their own businesses

Whether it’s within the nextfew years, or later on in life, startup culture has becoming more and more appealing.Resources for how to fund a new company or raise money for a new venture arevery popular.

Many young adults are tryingto find the quickest and easiest way to make as much money as possible. This isalso why freelance positions and side hustles are becoming so much more widespreadamong this demographic.

At Napkin Finance, our mostpopular napkin is “How to Finance a Startup.”

2. They have a sense of social and personal responsibility

Millennials truly want abetter financial future for themselves as part of a better world at large. Whenmillennials get paid, they like earning those dollars through positive social contribution.The same is true when they spend money – they would like it going to the mostdeserving businesses, the ones going the distance for causes such assustainability, conservation and social welfare. However, for all the idealismsurrounding where money comes from and where it should go, many millennialsstruggle with basic financial skills such as budgeting and saving (both link toNapkins), building credit (credit Napkin), not to mention investing (Napkin).

Many millennials leave highschool and even college without any academic insight into personal finance orinvesting.

As a result, they may knowabout Apple stock hitting new highs but have no idea how to buy and sell shares,let alone do so responsibly. They takeout college loans but might don’t understand the long-term financialimplications of taking on debt. Additionally, many millennials have so manyother, perhaps more exciting, aspects of life to pay attention to thatprioritizing learning about personal finance is not likely.

3. Increasing availability of technology isaiding personal finance

You don’t need to be a math orfinance genius to know how to invest and potentially profit from the stockmarket. Learning concepts of various financial instruments and accounts isessential, and it’s not hard to do. For instance, you can begin with auditing your own financialhealth by creating a budget, maximizing your savings andseeing how much you might be able to set aside to potentially invest. Fromthere, you can learn about investments and securities such as ETFs, mutual fundsand the stock market as a whole.

4. There’s a lack of knowledge aboutretirement planning and credit

Millennials are not aware ofRoth IRA accounts or other retirement options. Many young adults are interestedin knowing how they can invest in the latest tech companies.

Few understand the importanceof building credit at this point in their lives and do not understand theimportance of having a good credit score.

Napkin Finance offersinformation on funding a startup, the stock market, Roth IRAs, saving money forcollege and even credit.

5. Skepticism of financial institutionsexists among millennials

They witnessed what the marketcrash did to their parents’ savings. In an article by Main Street, they claimthat roughly 60% of millennial investors ask to be educated on the basics ofinvesting from their financial advisors. From this we can see that millennialswould be attracted to a crash course in how to invest responsibly. Millennialsare more inclined to invest in newer companies but also are not afraid toinvest in technology companies either. Specifically Tesla and Alibaba are verypopular among millennials while outside the top 30 stocks for people aged 35and over. Millennials seem to invest their money in things they actually useand are excited about, as opposed to investing a lot in bonds. Millennials seemto be more interested in stocks with high growth expected as opposed to asteady stream of dividends. From most of my research I have found there aregenerally two types of millennial investors: young people who are highlyskeptical of the stock market and prefer to keep their money in cash, or investorswho are risk-averse, investing in things they have seen become successful – andthey feel more comfortable with because they know about the company. They wouldrather feel a connection to a company than looking at expected returns anddeciding between companies they don’t know. They buy what they know, which istechnology. Oddly enough, millennials who do invest have a diversified portfoliobecause of their skepticism.

For more information andpersonal finance education, visit

About the author

Tina Hay

Founder and CEO, NapkinFinance

Tina Hay comes from a diversebackground encompassing film, technology and finance. Her personal strugglesunderstanding complex financial topics led her to found Napkin Finance, a guideto everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less. Themission of the company is to empower readers to make smart money decisions andbuild a lifetime of financial well-being. Napkin Finance has been featured in Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, E!Entertainment, amongothers publications and hasjoined the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Education Initiative, Better Make Room,with the creation of a Napkin Finance course for helping students save and payfor college.

Prior to creating NapkinFinance, she was Co-founder and President of, editor of CityTrippingLos Angeles: Your Guide to Restaurants, Nightlife, Shopping, Culture, Fitnessand Hotels, and Founder of Platinum Test Group. Additionally Tina alsocreated and runs the environmental conservation group, All You Need is One. Sheholds a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from Harvard University.

Featured Content