Bitcoin safer than the stock market? Many Millennials think so

Published in El Pais, 14 Feb 2018

In 2008 the NYSE saw the biggest crash since the great depression largely caused by the US housing bubble. The event saw many Americans evicted from their homes, wide spread job losses, and many large financial institutions on the verge of bankruptcy, only to be spared such a fate by the government issuing massive bailouts. Of course, with the U.S economy as large as it is the effect was felt all over the world and its long lasting negative impact is still influencing some despite the crises being over, most notably in Millennials when it comes to investing.With the memory of their parents going through hard times still fresh in their minds and the crisis coming at a time when many saw their job prospects dwindle as they enter the job market for the first time, their distrust in traditional establishments grew and the stock market was concoction of pure evil. As a result, only a third of millennials have some investments in the stock market compared to half over the age of 40.

It would be easy to point to other various factors as to why millennials have not invested in much. They are after all young and early into their careers and likely do not have as much disposable income to invest compared to their older counterparts, but even millennials who have sell paying jobs are staying away, rather putting their money in a simple savings account. What is even worse many of them think cryptocurrencies are a safer bet despite its wild volatility and the fact the biggest cryptocurrency bitcoin has last half of its value in less than a month.

Where the problem lies though is the lack of education on the topic as investing is not scene as one of the basic requirements for many educational institutions. Right now, many are expressing the urgency for schools to including coding into the curriculum even at an early age and they are right to do so, but as children go into their teenage years and start taking small jobs perhaps it is time we talk about a basic investing class as well to teach at least a safe way to invest your money.

With investing there is always risk, one only needs to look at the crash last week to see even the safest of investments go down. Many people will just feel too uncomfortable about that risk and no amount of teaching can make them feel more comfortable. However, the fact that many chose the highly volatile Bitcoin as a preferred investment show many will take risk and it is important to start teaching those people how to invest.

References

Matin E. (2018). Here’s why millennials would rather save than invest. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/29/why-millennials-would-rather-save-than-invest.html

Paul, K. (2018). Millennials are afraid stocks are too risky, so they’re investing in bitcoin. Market Watch. Retrieved form https://www.marketwatch.com/story/millennials-are-afraid-stocks-are-too-risky-so-theyre-investing-in-bitcoin-2018-02-06

Varathan, P. (2018). Wealthy millennials aren’t investing their money. Quartz. Retrieved form https://qz.com/1168292/wealthy-millennials-arent-investing-their-money/

Nova, A. (2018). What millennials should keep in mind amid market volatility. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/market-sell-off-could-give-millennials-flashbacks-of-2008-collapse.html

About Matthew Glezos 370 Articles
Matthew is Canadian and has a Master in Business Administration. He has international experience in marketing and strategy. He has a strong interest in technology and combines it with the business side.

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