How Millennials Can Save the World
If you're of any other generation, I'm sure you're sick to death of hearing about Millennials, but like it or not, what this consumer group says and wants is becoming more 'mainstream' by the day. In particular, how they view their own finances and where they choose to invest their retirement funds.
A recent article by NASDAQ showed that 67% of Millennials say they want their investments to reflect their social and environmental values, and among Millennial women, that number rises to 3 in 4 (about 76%). The reason goes beyond just mere impact investing: it helps to drive business with the 'right' businesses. Even among working Millennials, about 72% track their retirement savings regularly, even in their employer 401(k)'s to make sure they aren't investing in anything that would go against their worldview. Awesome! And while a workplace retirement plan may not be as sustainable as you'd like, it doesn't take much to make that option available for yourself.
I've mentioned many times that the concept of socially responsible investing is nothing new or revolutionary, but rather sustainable investing strategies are becoming much less expensive and more widely available than in the days when only endowments and pension funds could afford to invest for impact. This creates an exciting opportunity for Millennials especially, who could conceivably change the world with their retirement accounts. If you are 30 years old today, those retirement dollars should be put away for decades to help fund the kind of world that you would like to live in...and why wouldn't that energize Millennials to get saving?
If you're a Millennial (or even if you're not) be sure to ask your employer's retirement/benefits department to add a sustainable and environmental causes option when selecting funds for your 401(k) plan. It may seem like a small act, but we are well on our way to making a meaningful difference in the world. Can you dig THAT?