FINRA Continues Campaign to Debunk Myths About Millennials

On December 12, 2018, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation “held a public forum on Capitol Hill to discuss national research findings regarding the financial behaviors and attitudes of millennials in the United States with remarks by the Co-Chairs of the Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) according to a recent FINRA press release.

FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh and FINRA Foundation Research Director, Dr. Gary Mottola also spoke at the event.

Walsh and Mottola were also the participants in an October podcast from FINRA’s Unscripted series about debunking myths about Millenials.

That appearance was in conjunction with a report FINRA put together entitled: “Uncertain Futures: 7 Myths about Millennials and Investing.

girl tearing dollar
A young girl tearing a $100 dollar bill

The seven myths are: millennials have lofty goals, income challenges and debt are the key barriers for millennials who don’t invest, millennials are overconfident and this spills into their financial lives, millennials are wary of the financial services industry, millennials overestimate the investable assets needed to work with a financial professional, millennials want advice digitized, and millennials all think alike.

Millennials are those who are born between 1981-1996.

FINRA recently released a two-minute video highlighting the December 12 event.

Congressman Stivers said he hoped to leverage this knowledge into legislation which promotes financial literacy and readiness. “I just really excited to hear the findings and try to work on policy solutions that come out of this that we encourage financial literacy and financial readiness, because financial literacy means you understand it, financial readiness means you’re doing it.”

On the issue of financial literacy, Congresswoman Beatty said, “I can remember being well over thirty something years old before I got my first credit card.” She continued, “I have a responsibility to teach the values of finance.

One example of a lack of financial literacy among Millennials was that they overestimated the fees associated with working with an advisor or broker.

Beatty and Stivers Co-Chaired the Finance and Economic Literacy Caucus.

“There is a growing consensus that too many Americans lack the basic financial literacy skills to enable them to navigate our increasingly complex financial system, make informed financial decisions, and avoid abusive financial products and services. Studies consistently show that a significant number of Americans have inadequate knowledge about concepts related to personal finance and basic economics including budgeting, managing credit use and debt problems, reading and understanding credit reports, understanding the terms of a mortgage or vehicle loan, using and maintaining a checking account, and understanding the importance of saving for retirement.” The caucus notes on its website.

A caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress that meets to pursue common legislative objectives.

Andrea Hasler is an Assistant Research Professor at the Global Financial Literacy Excellency Center and she said that Millennials will soon be a force, “By 2025, seventy-five percent of the world’s working age population will be Millennials; so, it is the generation to look at.”