Friday, October 2, 2015

How Millennials Can Pull Up From Their Uncontrolled Descent

Hello there!  Welcome to another installment of CCM blog.  Today's financial literacy lesson is inspired by a recent article I found on Young Americans are giving up on getting rich.  Yikes!  I personally think we have all been exposed way too much to the Millennial economic plight.  We can thank the media for making us all depressed, providing non-stop coverage of Millennials' woes.

Is anyone out there trying to help Millennials?  Certainly.  There are a slew of financial bloggers like me readily posting financial tips and suggestions these youngsters can use to better their circumstances...all for naught.  You see, it dawned on me that there are deep seated emotional issues that only live within Millennials, making them especially resistant to doing anything with any form of financial advice.  These are as follows:

1.  Millennials feel as if their success is entirely up to themselves.  They feel a camaraderie knowing others like them are in the same plane falling from the sky, and this makes them believe this situation is "normal."

2.  They are petrified with fear.  The media and people in general have created this context of failure among Millennials that is sort of like a science "textbook," difficult to question.  We have pinned a failure button on Millennials for going to college and racking up debt.  We have made them feel stupid for shelling out what we believe to be way too much for an education.  In turn, Millennials have internalized this sentiment, chalked it up as a huge mistake, and now are completely risk averse.

3.  They have developed a strong sense of learned helplessness.  That uncontrolled plane descent Millennials feel they are in, by virtue of being inundated with economic signals of lack of opportunity and potential financial pay-off, are like electric shocks.  They'd rather plunge then get up out of their seats and look for a parachute.

How can Millennials pilot themselves out of their dire straits?    

The individualism that was the hallmark of the 20th century cannot be copied in our 21st century economy.  The money that was once more evenly distributed has trickled up into the hands of fewer and fewer people over the last fifty years.  Therefore, Millennials must understand that in order to be financially successful, they have to team up with like minds and pool resources, networks (social capital), and brain power.  This of course would result in shared equity, but given the alternative, trying to start a business, create a product, e.g., solo, is a lot more difficult to do alone.

Focus on the future and not the past.  College loan debt is a huge reminder of a financial "mistake" that was made in the past.  Millennials must shift their way of thinking about this.  They also need to stop wasting mental energy on the obvious, and focus on innovating ways to become successful, money aside.  Put the horse before the cart!  It sounds like awful advice, but if you don't mind your goals and aspirations, they will not mind you.  Don't settle for a decent paying job and a steady salary, shutting down you entrepreneur imagination, and expect to get out of your college debt hole.

Be counterintuitive.  Fear of the unknown must be tamed, and be put in its place by you.  Investing in higher risk assets like stocks must be as customary and painless as putting on your pants each day.  It is insane to think that you will get out of your financial mess avoiding free markets, the bedrock of capitalism, and other investment chances...chances you may never get again.

Alright is time to rewrite your script and pull up on the steering control.  Don't do the same thing every day and expect to get out of your mom's house.  Innovate, create, and entrepreneur yourself to a new you.

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