Facebook knows how you feel about money. The company has been listening in on young people’s online conversations, as well as analyzing audience data and conducting surveys, in order to learn more about how users between the ages of 21 and 34 think about financial matters. What it discovered is likely to surprise some people, though probably not millennials themselves.
“Millennials are misunderstood — famous for their impulse for instant gratification. But when we stop to observe their financial behaviors and listen to them describe their relationship with money in their own words, a new millennial emerges,” according to the report, Millennials and Money: The Unfiltered Journey.
Once you brush aside the stereotype of the lazy and entitled millennial, a picture of a financially responsible generation comes into focus. Millennials want to pay down debt, save for the future, and manage credit responsibly, Facebook’s research found. Debt is by far their biggest financial concern, hardly surprising once you realize two-thirds of millennials are struggling with student loans and credit cards. In addition, a saver’s mindset is firmly entrenched among young people, according to the report, but they’re most likely to save because they think it’s the responsible thing to do rather than with particular purpose in mind.
The younger generation may cautious with its money, Facebook found. But it’s also unsure about where to turn for financial advice. More than half say there’s no one they trust to help them with major financial questions, and two-thirds say their bank doesn’t understand them. When it comes to investing, they’re more likely to trust a robo-adviser than an actual human being.
One reason for the disconnect is millennials are dealing with an out-of-touch financial industry that’s been slow to adapt to their financial needs and identify ways to help them achieve their money goals. People who think all the younger generation cares about is having the latest iPhone in their pocket might be surprised when they see the five ways millennials really define financial success.