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Millennials and money — it’s a new equation

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The Millennial generation shares just about everything digitally — from breakfast photos to financial advice and information.

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The Millennial generation shares just about everything digitally — from breakfast photos to financial advice and information. Photo Store

As a generation, all we Millennials used to hear about was how self-centred, lazy and spoiled we were.

One momentous change came for us when a self-centred, lazy and spoiled Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, opening up a slew of jobs which involved managing social networking platforms.

Many Baby Boomers were oddly under-qualified for this new world, and quite frankly, confused. 

Another notable Millennial is Sophia Amoruso. She founded Nasty Gal, the fastest growing retailer of 2012. Oh, and her online fashion company has zero debt.

Amoruso and Zuckerberg were both born in 1984 and they’re symbolic of the fact the wealth of the world is changing hands. They’re also proof that this digitally driven generation is hell-bent on working smarter — not harder.

Millennials weren’t hit in the same way as our parents were by the market crash of 2008-09, mostly because many of us hadn’t begun accumulating our wealth. That doesn’t mean we didn’t feel the effects of nervous parents postponing their retirement.

Oddly enough, thanks to our parents’ poor luck with financial markets, we’ve begun investing and saving money much earlier than any generation before us, according to Elliot Weissbluth, of HighTower Advisors, on The Daily Ticker.

We all know we should be putting money away even if we don’t really know why.

 For one, we are inundated with information online. If one website advises us to do one thing with our finances another suggests doing the exact opposite. How are we supposed to know which is the right option for us?

 Easy. What do our friends say to do?

 Millennials are the most plugged-in generation yet. Whether we are tweeting our experiences at sports games or Instagramming what we’re eating for breakfast, we are sharing information with each other constantly throughout the day. This includes our experiences when it comes to what’s sitting in our bank accounts, or whether we should start putting money away for a rainy day.

 More and more, Millennials are turning to their circle of friends for financial advice instead of their families.

Like many young people, I too, went to my family’s long-trusted advisors to get started on the right foot as a young person. But I didn’t understand the advice given to me, and I felt too embarrassed to ask for clarification. I turned to my friends for help instead. They became a safe place to talk about finances.

 Facebook feeds with friends are accessible at any time of the day and we usually trust the ideas tossed around there because they came from people we trust.

 Times aren’t changing — they’ve changed. Talking about money isn’t a taboo anymore and Millennials are paying more attention and accessing more information than any other generation before.

Zuckerberg and Amoruso didn’t just get lucky.

Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every second week on money issues facing Millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com

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