“I’m not saving up to buy anything,” said the 28-year-old engineer, who shares a rented apartment with two flatmates in south London.
“I prefer to go out for dinner at a nice place, pay a round at the pub or explore a new area of the world. I feel like I would be losing out on living if I chose to own stuff instead.” The stock market is starting to mirror his priorities and those of his generation – the millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000.
“Experiences help millennials shape their identity and create memories, to a greater degree than for older generations,” stated Sarbjit Nahal, head of thematic investing at Bank of America Corp.
“You’ll want to look at companies focused on live sporting events, festivals, online gaming, the sharing economy, travel and even music streaming – all of these are experiences that millennials can share with their friends.” What little proof – it is largely anecdotal – there is, it tends to back up the arm-chair psychology.
A survey by market-research firm Harris Poll and Eventbrite Inc., an online marketplace for ticket sales, displayed almost 80 percent of millennials would prefer pay for an experience than material goods. Some 82 percent of millennials mentioned that they went to a live event in the past year – concerts and festivals – and 72 percent stated they plan to increase spending on such outings.
With their material desires almost completely exhausted, millennials need alternative roads to satisfaction, he says, referring to research by Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University. To Best Buy Co. reported slowing holiday sales. Is up more than 700 percent since the U.S. market bottomed in 2009.
Investors will soon be able to buy an exchange-traded fund focused on millennials, which will include companies involved in social media, e-commerce, mobile technology, healthy lifestyles, travel, leisure and the sharing economy, according to its Dec. 11 prospectus. With incomes shrinking, only 34 percent of millennials worldwide said they saved enough money each month, according to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Generational Lifestyles survey. Buying a car was a top priority for only 15 percent of millennials in a Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The 30-year-old shares a London apartment with two friends and regularly dines out – Nielsen’s data show six-in-10 millennials go out to eat at least once a week, twice the percentage of baby boomers.
“People want to buy happiness,” Huang said at a London cafe in January. “An experience is unique because it gives them that in three stages: the anticipation, the event itself, and the memories after. Not only does that final stage last forever, but you can also share it.”