Multiple studies have found millennials, the generation born after 1980, tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to investing. A March study by the FINRA Foundation found just 25% of millennials consider themselves risk takers, while a survey from MFS in February called those “recession babies” a “lost generation of investors.”
However, a report released Thursday by financial research firm Hearts & Wallets shows those recession babies may have finally grown out of the fears their early experience with financial crisis left them with. More than half of investors in their late 20s and 30s say they worry more about missing investment opportunities than losing money in the markets, the report found.
Hearts and Wallets surveyed 5,500 U.S. households for the Investor Mindset report. It found 53% of people between age 28 and 39 feel missing out on gains is a bigger worry than losing money in the short term. That’s in increase of 16% from 2012.
Their younger counterparts, those born between 1987 and 1993, agreed, with 49% saying they would rather lose money than miss out on gains.
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“Millennials are going through a dramatic shift as they see the impact of the recent bull market and how their strategy of holding cash is costing them,” Chris Brown, Hearts & Wallets partner and co-founder, said in a statement. “The good news is there’s plenty of time to build a strong investing and savings plan that works for their individual needs.”
The report found investors overall are more risk tolerant than they were last year, with 27% of all respondents saying they were more comfortable with volatility. Retirees were the least comfortable, followed by the youngest workers, 25% of whom said they were comfortable with volatility.
The group that was most comfortable with volatility also reported the biggest increase in confidence. Over a third of respondents in their 40s and early 50s said they were willing to accept more volatility for a higher return, up 10 points to 34%. Those between ages 28 and 39 reported an eight-point increase to 31%.
However, when asked about their financial goals, respondents indicated the hard lessons of the financial crisis were not entirely forgotten. Investors of all ages reported their biggest financial goal was to build an emergency cash reserve. The second biggest goal was to work less as they get older, but stopping work entirely was a “distant third,” according to the report.
The economy, health care and Social Security led investor concerns, and just 13% of respondents said they felt confident about their financial future, down from 19% in 2013.