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November 10, 2017

Millennials more conservative investors than older generations- BMO finds

By Saloni Sardana

BMO Wealth Management has released a report highlighting that millennials in Canada are more conservative and risk averse in their investments compared to their older counterparts, generation X and the baby-boomers.

The report released on Tuesday highlighted that millennials were left insecure by the financial crisis of 2007-2008, resulting in them making more cautious investments.

“Baby-boomers have greater confidence in their investments over the long-run. Historical strong-average returns have helped them prepare for retirement, and they are prepared to ride out the ups and downs of the market,” the report said.

Only 32% of millennials are inclined to buy and hold investments for the long-term, compared to 43% of generation-Xers and 44% of babyboomers.

Retirement was at the fore of what Canadians said they were investing for. Some 53% said they would be investing for retirement, 21% for short-term goals such as holidays, and 20% for an emergency fund. However,  retirement was a bigger priority for generation X and babyboomers than for millennials. Only 32% of millennials said that they were saving for retirement, compared to 63% of boomers, and 62% of generation X. Instead, saving for a home upgrade or purchase was the second biggest priority, with 27% of millennials saying they were.

Participants were asked to state their investing and saving preferences. Some 31% of millennials said they would put money aside to decide later how to spend it, compared to 22% of its older counterparts.

Millennials were also more reluctant to indulge in long-term investments. They also favoured the use of individual stocks, exchange traded funds and mutual funds over investing in an individual portfolio.

The survey showed that women investors made typically more conservative choices. Some 19% of women preferred investing in bonds and fixed income investments, compared to only 14% of men. Men were also more likely to invest in individual stocks than women.

The report also identified several form of behaviour biases influencing investment decisions. “Biases can lead to flawed investment decisions. Understanding how they arise from your background and life experiences can help you make better investment decisions to achieve your financial goals,” said BMO wealth management director Chris Buttigieg,

It is unclear how many people were surveyed in the report.

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