Millennials and money

Since millennials entered the workforce around the 2008 financial crisis, are they more cautious than the generations before them? Mary Humphreys discusses.
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Published 25 June
2 mins

The diverging experiences we encounter in our lives understandably shape our attitudes towards wealth. It is commonly agreed that millennials entered the work force around the time of the last financial crisis in 2008, which has resulted in a different approach to the finances than the generation before them. 

Millennials have, therefore, developed a tendency to become more fiscally conservative, with a predilection towards saving, and which is more akin to the behaviour of the baby boomers in the post-war era.

While millennials are savvy savers, it is not for the longer term. They have a focus on the immediate shorter term goals such as a holiday or luxury items as opposed to saving for retirement, which for them is too far in the distance. Experiencing the here and now is their driving force. It will come as no surprise that millennials are the generation who heavily rely on technology and they keep their money in a variety of accounts, which makes them inherently vulnerable to cyber-attack.


The parents of millennials would have been driven by job security, job longevity and saving for a comfortable retirement. Millennials do not have the same focus on staying in one job for the long term; they are arguably risk-takers with an entrepreneurial, self-sufficient driving spirit.

Looking beyond events that shape their stance, millennials have had exposure to a fundamentally different social landscape due to technological innovation and advances in communications. The youngest of the generation, rather frighteningly, have no memories of life before connectivity.

They have instant access to online trading and free reports, which results in their need to verify the information they obtain and ask question after question, instead of having blind faith and absolute trust in their advisers.

As millennials are the largest adult segment, with expectations that their wealth will grow significantly in the coming years, it is no surprise that wealth managers are starting to focus their attention on supporting this growing market. While the millennials are focused on creating their own wealth, they will also inherit the baby boomer wealth, thus perpetuating the future wave of wealth planning opportunities.

Research suggests that millennials are also more socially responsible, so would be looking increasingly at impact investing options in order to satisfy their social consciences along with achieving their desired financial return. This is a topic that is discussed in board rooms, start-ups and living rooms across the globe. With the force of the millennial might behind it, it is clearly a movement that will continue to grow.


So what is best for a millennial – a robo-adviser or a human adviser? The truth is our average millennial will require a hybrid of the two. The straightforward approach that digital transparency brings combined with the reassurance and guidance from an experienced wealth adviser would be the ideal. The client ‘experience’ matters more to millennials than it has to any prior generation, therefore obtaining the correct balance is key to retaining their business.

Should you require any further information as to how we help different generations of clients, please contact your usual Nedgroup Trust relationship manager who would be happy to discuss examples of the support we provide and help you understand the different options available to you.


Or, if you are not a client, but would like to find out about Nedgroup Trust’s services, please get in touch using the links to the forms towards the end of the page.

The structures and wrappers used are provided for illustrative purposes only, and are not to be read as an invitation or inducement to buy a service. This content does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation. Individuals should seek professional advice, based on their jurisdiction and personal circumstances, before making any financial decision.

about the author

Mary Humphreys

Mary Humphreys

Mary joined Nedgroup Trust in 2020 as a senior trust manager. She has been in the industry for 16 years, having started her career at KPMG. She has progressed through the ranks from assistant administrator through to senior trust manager, and now runs her own complex portfolio of clients. Mary also publishes a wide variety of articles.


She completed her STEP Diploma in 2012 and went on to gain recognition by attaining the STEP Certificate in Foundation Law and the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes, both of which she passed with distinctions.

Access more of our insights

Leaving a legacy

Opportunities for South Africans to structure international investments

21 Sep

   |   62 mins

Tracy Muller from the South Africa team explained the opportunities for structuring international assets, while Katie Bonfrer provided example case studies.

Money management

The deep divides in perceptions of wealth

10 Sep

   |   5 mins

Investors are regularly encouraged to diversify their investments. We believe the same approach should be used for tax allowances. Beckie Williams explains why.

Money management

Are you focusing more on your golf than your finances?

20 Aug

   |   4 mins

Is the chance to spend time on golf or a hobby leaving your finances in a hole? Carlo Lourenco discusses upping your game on the green and better money matters.

Money management

Last wills and testaments go digital… partially

3 Aug

   |   3 mins

John Williams explains how wills in England and Wales can now be drawn-up virtually, albeit with physical signatures, if you follow the detailed procedure.

Get in touch

If you are interested in becoming a client, please complete the form via the ‘become a client’ button below. Alternatively, if you are already a client, or if you have a question about how we help clients in particular circumstances, please use the ‘contact us’ button.

We will get back to you as soon as we can during office hours, which are Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm (UK time), except for UK public holidays.

Become a Client

Thank you for your interest in Nedbank Private Wealth. Please call us on +44 (0)1624 645000 or complete the requested information and one of our team will get back to you soon. We look forward to speaking with you.

* Required fields

Contact Us

Give us a call today on +44 (0)1624 645000 or please complete the requested information and one of our team will get back to you soon. We look forward to speaking with you.

Our office hours are weekdays from 8am to 8pm UK time, except for UK public holidays.

* Required field

Search suggestions