The latest copy of Investment News caught my eye when I was filling up my coffee cup this morning. The article headline reads “MEET YOUR FUTURE CLIENTS.” The cover and displays an image of protestor participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement. The text that follows reads “As anti-Wall Street protests spread across the U.S., financial advisers fear that this Lost Decade has left a deep scar on the next generation of investors.”
I flipped to the inside page and gave the article a read. This section in particular caught my attention:
“Forty percent of those between 18 and 30 said they would “never feel comfortable investing in the stock market,” according to a recent survey by MFS Investment Management. The survey, which was conducted at the beginning of the summer, also found that 54% of the 232 respondents were “more concerned than ever” about being able to retire when they wanted to and that 59% characterized themselves as savers as opposed to investors.”
I have heard this from other sources and I certainly have my share of friends that share this sentiment. Wall Street just seems like too much of a gamble considering what we have seen as young investors.
Just think about the 30 year olds that got their first job at 20. They would have started investing in 2001, just in time for the dot com crash – EEK! If that didn’t scare them off, throw in the market crash of 2008 and the financial crisis – OUCH! They worked hard to save that money, and what did they get in return? They have also seen this affect their parents, dashing their dreams for retirement. That’s a tough start as an investor. It’s easy to see why confidence would be shaken.
The idea of not participating in the market is really much scarier to me. I know I still have time on my side. Even if I am able stash away a pile of cash, I recognize it won’t last forever when I’m not earning any interest and inflation is creeping higher. I try to view the downsides as opportunities to buy at a discount. I really not worried about my market-phobic peers proving me wrong when we are looking to retire in 30 or more years – that is a gamble I am willing to take.
Read the article from Investment Needs (October 10-14 2011) online: