Millennials are more cautious about investing in the market than their parents. But they are also more knowledgeable about what to do with their money.
Courtesy of Michaele Bradford
When she was young, Michaele Bradford thought that the world of investing was a fun, cheery place – a sort of playground for your piggy bank.
With good reason. Her grandparents bought her a mutual fund while she was still in elementary school. It came through USAA, a big financial services firm, which provided a monthly newsletter specifically for its young customers.
"It had a column called 'Ask Kurt,' where you could ask an investment banker at USAA anything you wanted," she recalls. "I still have the response Kurt sent me when I asked him what companies were in my mutual fund. So they kind of spoiled me."
The 2008-09 market crash and deep recession became a smelling salt to her about investing. Ms. Bradford, now in her late 20s, suffered a severe setback with her finances, as did others of her generation. Not only did her modest portfolio plummet, she also lost her job and had to liquidate two retirement accounts to survive.