The Reason Millennials Are Nitpicky About Their Portfolios

Catch a glimpse of a Millennial fiddling with his smartphone and you might think he’s updating his social media circles on what he ate for breakfast.

But there’s a good chance he’s absorbed in something a bit more productive—checking up on his portfolio.

According to recent research, young adults are much more vigilant about tending to their investments than older generations: As many as 56% of Millennials polled in a BlackRock survey said they regularly monitor their investments, compared to 46% of Baby Boomers. Millennials spend about seven hours a month on this activity, while Boomers spend just two.

What’s spurring young adults to be so attentive to the market?

The convenience of digital technology is a major factor. Research from E-Trade suggests people under age 35 are one of the most likely demos to use online tools to monitor their investments—meaning they can review their portfolio anytime they like, instead of waiting for quarterly reports to arrive via snail mail.

“Millennials are accustomed to interacting in every aspect of their life with technology,” Tom White, C.E.O. and co-founder of iQuantifi, a virtual financial platform, told MainStreet. “With the abundance of technology tools available to them, it is not surprising that checking their portfolio is a part of their daily routine.”

But the availability of so many new, online tools to manage investments can become overwhelming. Perhaps as a result, as many as two-thirds of Millennials in the BlackRock survey said they’re keeping a large percentage of their portfolios in cash—at least until they figure out the right way to allocate those funds.

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