Millennials, a group that now peaks at age 41, are at a prime stage in their lives to set serious financial goals, and those who are already wealthy are in an especially good position to start achieving them. In a recent survey, RBC Wealth Management asked a segment of wealthy millennials to prioritize those goals. They found, not surprisingly, that almost 40% of them want to invest in the stock market and 33% want to save for retirement.
But another goal is perhaps more surprising in these uncertain times—27% said their top financial goal is to start their own company.
“Millennials have an entrepreneurial mindset and are looking for ways to create other sources of income through business ownership, investment property or a side hustle,” Angie O’Leary, RBC’s U.S. head of wealth planning, said in a press release. . She adds that the “competing responsibilities and goals” of this age group make planning extremely important, not just for retirement, but “for their specific life goals, including entrepreneurial endeavors.”
Research has long revealed that the millennial generation is focused on entrepreneurship because it values flexibility and work-life balance. Those definitions have apparently persisted through the pandemic and even the recent worsening of economic conditions. The latest Startup Sentiment Index released by Franchise Insights, a platform that provides research to franchisees, shows that aspiring business owners (the majority of whom are millennials and Gen Xers) were optimistic about starting new businesses despite growing concerns about the pandemic and the economic downturn. Almost 75% of their respondents are determined to start new ventures, and more than 65% said now is a good time to start a business.
The RBC study also found that many millennials want their investments to go toward the greater good. About 85% of survey respondents said they prioritize investments with a focus on environment, society and governance (ESG). The results show that it is extremely important to them that their advisors are well versed in ESG strategies, so much so that more than 80% of them would consider leaving their advisor if they were not well versed in the topic.
“Millennials’ strong appetite for ESG creates an opportunity for advisors to incorporate ESG data into their investment and wealth planning,” said Kent McClanahan, RBC’s vice president of responsible investing in the U.S. “They can advise and educate a younger generation of investors on how to invest with purpose .”
RBC Wealth Management USA has $508 billion in client assets under management with more than 2,100 advisors in 42 countries. RBC contracted an outside firm to conduct the survey in December 2021. Respondents included 1,000 25- to 40-year-olds. Of that group, three-quarters had at least $1 million in investable assets. The others had either $250,000 in income or at least $100,000, but less than $1 million, in investable assets, qualifying them as Henrys, an acronym for “high earners, not yet rich,” according to RBC.