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Survey: 2 in 3 young people have not started investing

Gen Y or Millenials (the cooler sounding name). That's me!
Picture from Huffingtonpost

An article (see here: Survey: 2 in 3 young people have not started investing) in the Sunday Times by GYC got me thinking.

I am unsure of the intent of the survey but I assume that it is meant to set younger people thinking about the purpose of investing and hopefully, more will be receptive.

If the earlier generation, say, the parents of millennials are already finding it difficult to save for retirement, I can't help but fear how we, millennials, will fare.

Not knowing how to invest

The young people of my time grew up in an environment where information is easily accessible. So it came as a shock when I saw in the article that one of the reasons cited were a 'lack of financial knowledge'. 61 per cent of the two thirds do not invest because they do not know how to.

If I went back into time, I will have cited that reason also.. Two biggest influences are family and school at that age. Schools probably don't go about teaching about investing. How many students will be interested anyway? Hence, I think that the family plays even a bigger role. If I may, make an assumption, it is that the parents of the 61 percent simply didn't know about investing or they didn't want to stress their children. I only knew about a POSB Savings account.

Returning back to the present, the turning point came when I started to read useful investment books and articles written by local financial bloggers. This reason of not knowing how to is an excuse.

Not having enough money to invest

59 percent cited this reason. On one hand, I totally agree. Perhaps there are urgent priorities. We should ensure we have the basics like emergency funds done right first. Millenials will continue to graduate from schools and all the employment news aren't exactly rosy now. Emergency funds must be done right first.

On the other hand, I think we simply have too many spending potholes. It's a social thing to talk about drinking, partying at some club and bleeding our wallets. I'm not saying we should not be doing all this, but we need to know where we stand. I believe in 'YOLO' but sacrifices needs to be made. If done right, budgeting is a godsend.

There are many simplified products that are suitable for our current appetite for risk and returns. We just have to do some homework.

What is the conclusion? 

The survey is accurate because it does seem that my peers are also citing those reasons.

To me, there is only one way. Invest. Not knowing how to is a lame excuse frankly. Of course, we may not get it right, but do not dismiss investing even before trying.

It pains me when my peers ask if I have lost money already. I only hope to fight inflation and use the time value of money to grow my money. Singapore is already one of the most expensive cities, and it is going to be that way.

I have tried to put this across and given up trying to explain. I only said that in time they will understand how I did. I may not have huge sums of money to invest now, but I am and still getting slightly richer in financial knowledge now.

I think on this, we as millennials need to work harder. I believe we can. We have information like no other generation of the past had.

Till next time,
Mr K.


  1. Unfortunately, too many people in the millennial generation have lost faith in the economy and have an "oh well" attitude when it comes to investing. Investing is always a risk but could pay off when it comes to one's future and retirement. Parents should spend more time talking about investing and millennials should spend more time researching and learning the positives of investing.

    Clayton Smith @ Blue Line Planning


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