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The Millennial Mindset: How the US's Largest Generation Earns, Invests, and Spends

June 13, 2024 12:01 AM EDT

New Survey from Worth Media Group and BCG of US Consumers Uncovers How Wealthy Millennials Spend and Manage Their Money, and Examines How Their Spending Differs from Older Generations

NEW YORK, June 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Millennials recently overtook baby boomers as the largest generation in the US. As millennials enter their 30s and 40s, they're coming into their full spending power—and they're ready to show off.

According to a new survey, 70% of wealthy millennials expressed concern for their image and how others perceive them, 63% said their spending is influenced by public figures, and 54% liked to showcase their wealth and accomplishments.

Today, Worth Media Group, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), released a summary of the findings from their new study, titled Worth's Millennial Mindset Report: How Wealthy Millennials Earn, Invest, and Spend. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,600 US millennial consumers with an annual household income of at least $250 to $350 thousand and/or household net worth over $1 million. A subset of wealthy Gen Xers and baby boomers were also surveyed for comparison.

"At Worth, we aim to stay ahead of business and consumer trends to better serve our readers and our brand partners. This survey gives us valuable insights into the habits of affluent millennials, helping us to refine our editorial content and support our advertisers who are eager to better understand how this generation spends their time and money," said Josh Kampel, CEO of Worth Media Group.

What Wealthy Millennials Are Buying—And What They're Not

An overwhelming majority of wealthy millennials said that maintaining a healthy lifestyle was important to them (89%) and that they like to invest in themselves (87%). Their spending reflects these attitudes as more than two-thirds (68%) have spent money on health and wellness within the past 12 months—more than any other product or service category.

By contrast, wealthy millennials have deprioritized purchasing cars, with only 42% buying one in the last 12 months. While this is partially due to most respondents (72%) already owning at least one car, it also reflects millennials' comfort with alternatives to car ownership. Among those who did not recently purchase a car, 36% prefer more on-demand models such as ride-share apps, car subscriptions, and rental cars.

Philanthropic spending is an even lower priority for millennials as they choose to extend their support beyond financial contributions. Only 24% of wealthy millennials said they had donated money to philanthropic organizations in the last 12 months. Instead, those who had not contributed said they prefer to donate their time and skills to philanthropic causes over their money (44%), thereby fostering a deeper, hands-on connection with the organizations they champion.

How Wealthy Millennials Compare with Older Generations

The report also examines the similarities and differences between millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers:

  • Entrepreneurship as a Major Source of Wealth. When asked how they built their net worth, survey respondents across generations primarily pointed to their work/salary and investments. However, millennials were more likely to cite business ownership as a source of their wealth (41%, versus 18% of Gen X and 15% of baby boomers).
  • Spending on Luxury Items Versus Experiences. More than half (54%) of millennials purchased experiences (hotels, air travel, etc.) in the past 12 months, yet Gen Xers and baby boomers are 20% to 25% more likely to have recently made a purchase in this category—possibly due to having more time. Instead, millennials are prioritizing high-end products: 63% of purchased luxury goods in the last 12 months (versus 50% of Gen X and 31% of baby boomers), 55% purchased jewelry (versus 41% of Gen X and 33% of baby boomers), and 48% purchased watches (versus 31% of Gen X and 30% of baby boomers).
  • Managing Their Own Investments. Most millennials (69%) prefer to manage their investments themselves without the help of a wealth manager, compared with 53% of Gen X and 36% of baby boomers. Wealthy millennials invest more diversely across asset classes, with private equity (63%) and cryptocurrency (62%) topping the list of alternative assets.

"As millennials enter their peak spending years, understanding how these consumers think, behave, and spend is crucial for companies—or they'll risk losing a once-in-a-generation opportunity," said Jim Brennan, a managing director and senior partner at BCG.

Download Worth's Millennial Mindset Report executive summary at: worth.com/millennial

Media Contacts:
BCG: Eric Passarelli, [email protected]
Worth Media Group: Clyde Lee, [email protected]

About Worth Media Group
Worth Media Group brings together a successful and influential community of business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists, financial professionals, and nonprofit leaders to explore topics related to how business and innovation can accelerate social and economic progress. Our integrated media platforms include our quarterly print edition of Worth Magazine, daily digital content, weekly newsletters from Worth and Techonomy, and an extensive schedule of Worth & Techonomy events. Learn more at www.worth.com.

About Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

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SOURCE Boston Consulting Group (BCG)



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