Recent studies have found that millennials are saving at higher rates than previous generations, but a new survey suggests that they’re largely unaware of how they should allocate their assets.
According to a survey of investors with net worth over $250,000 from Greenwich, Conn.-based AMG funds, many investors between the ages of 18 and 35 misunderstand how risk tolerance is defined and what constitutes a well-diversified portfolio.
Half of the survey’s millennial respondents, 49 percent, reported having an “aggressive” risk tolerance -- yet 65 percent of the millennial respondents said market swings make them uncomfortable.
“They’re self-stating that they’re aggressive investors, but they exhibit behaviors that suggest that they aren’t aggressive at all,” says Bill Finnegan, AMG Funds chief marketing officer. “I attribute that to the lingering affects of what they witnessed going through their formative years during the dot-com crash and the financial crisis, and then looking at their parents who are most likely facing retirement anxieties.”
Millennial respondents were equally likely to rank growth maximization and generating income as their top investment goals.
Many millennials also seem mystified by portfolio diversification: 72 percent of the respondents said that a portfolio was adequately diversified as long as it includes a broad range of stocks.
“They’re not getting the fundamental concepts of allocating, diversifying and rebalancing,” Finnegan says. “Millennials lag in financial education. These folks think a long-term holding is five years. That’s a sign that we should be helping them to segment their assets into short-term and long-term savings and investments.”
Most of the millennial respondents, 70 percent are interested in alternative mutual funds and wish they knew more about alternative investing.