What's going on?
So no one told US millennials life was going to be this way – clap clap clap clap – but research out this week showed 70% of young people are living paycheck to paycheck.
What does this mean?
According to analysis from LendingClub, a surprisingly high proportion of Americans aged between 25 and 40 are struggling to get by. The coronavirus-induced recession – the second for many millennials after the 2008 financial crisis – has dented their ability to build wealth, keeping earnings low even as the costs of education, housing, and healthcare keep rising. Even millennials who have great salaries aren’t immune: 60% of those making over $100,000 a year are reportedly struggling to balance their lifestyles with their pay packets. That stretched-thin feeling could herald a major economic headache further down the line too: if millennials avoid having kids because of the costs involved, it could hit the US population growth rate and, by extension, its economic output.
Why should I care?
For markets: Millennials eat danger for breakfast.
The extent of millennials’ financial problems might explain why trading volumes among retail investors hit a record high last year: the stock market crash provided an ideal entry point for those looking to make some much-needed cash. Still, this move into risky day trading is completely at odds with the passive investing and exchange-traded funds that have been booming since they came of age, and it could easily end up backfiring.
Zooming out: Binancial misconduct.
The promise of once-in-a-generation returns has likewise attracted millennials to arguably the riskiest market of all: crypto. Financial authorities around the world, then, have been scrambling to protect overoptimistic investors, which might be why the world’s busiest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been under the microscope. And following recent warnings from the US, Canada, and Japan, the UK finally showed its hand: it banned Binance from conducting any regulated activity in the country on Monday.