(Bloomberg) — When it comes to the U.S. stock market, millennials can’t even.
That’s the conclusion of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. survey that found 18 percent of the young adults trusted the stock market as “the best way to save for the future.” More than 20 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know enough about it, while another 16 percent said stocks are either too volatile or the marketplace isn’t fair for small investors.
American demographics are shifting and Wall Street is taking notice. Millennials, usually defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34, are entering their prime savings years as the Baby Boom generation heads toward retirement.
“Millennials will become the most important financial generation in America and the industry will have to adapt to meet their needs,” Goldman Sachs analysts Conor Fitzgerald and Sarah Cha wrote in the survey.
Goldman Sachs questioned 752 people in the age group about issues ranging from homeownership to privacy and payment preferences. The margin of error in the poll was 3.5 percent, according to the firm.
While young adults have witnessed a bull market in which stocks have more than tripled since 2009, they are also exposed to voices from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to billionaire Warren Buffett cautioning about stock-market valuations. The market’s composition has also changed with the advent of high- frequency traders, dark pools, and even a novel form of market manipulation called “spoofing.”