We know you're busy, so we figured we would save you some time. Here's a weekly round-up of articles to inspire you to adopt a #Solutionist mindset.
Throughout every sector, Millennials are driving changes. Now, Millennials are taking advantage of a variety of high-tech and social media tools that allow them to plow their wealth into investment vehicles of their choice. Given their love for anything tech-related, it should come as little surprise that Millennials are now leveraging social networking platforms, websites, and mobile apps to do everything from following stock-picking tips to finding financial planners. One thing is certain: When it comes to investing, Millennials are taking a completely different approach from that of their parents and grandparents. (To learn more about the financial habits of Millennials, see article: Money Habits Of The Millennials.)
Numbering 77 million, millennials – those aged 25-34 – make up one-fourth of the U.S. population. These young professionals are drawn to big cities like NYC, San Francisco, LA, DC and Chicago by jobs, night life and good food, but often find they can’t afford to live there. According to the U.S. Census, median income for millennials working full-time, year-round in 2013 was a mere $33,883, putting big city rents well outside their budgets. In lieu of living directly in these cities, millennials are moving to up-and-coming neighborhoods that have lower rents, direct access to the big cities, and a trendy atmosphere of their own.
I’ve been speaking and writing about Millennials for a while, and with good reason. In five years, Millennials, also known as Gen Y or those born in the 80’s and 90’s, will make up the majority of the workforce. Almost every smart organization is looking into best practices on how to hire, manage, and sell to the fastest growing demographic in the world. As consumers, Millennials’ relationships with brands and how they choose to do business has been truly enigmatic to most. In no area is this better highlighted than in the banking space. For this hyper-connected and tech-savvy crowd, finance is more synonymous with crowdfunding, virtual currencies, and online payment platforms than it is with the brick building with a drive-thru ATM on the corner. This may be one of the reasons that JPMorgan Chase just announced that they would be closing 300 branches this year.
In the early 1960s, South Korea had a per-capita gross domestic product comparable to that of Sierra Leone. Now, it is the 14th largest economy, but all that seems to mean little to the country’s next generation. South Korea’s Millennials – whom we define as young people who came of age politically, economically and socially as the new millennium began – have a particularly dark view of the future, especially when compared with their counterparts around the world. In 2014, Millennials ranged in age from 18 to 33. (While some commentators have used the “Millennial” label to describe young adults in South Korea, the term is not as ubiquitous as it is in the U.S. For more on American Millennials, who are also defined by their shared cultural and historical experience, see the Pew Research Center’s extensive research.)
Millennials, searching for urban 'authenticity,' are settling in cities that were often shunned in the past, such as Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Detroit. When Clara Gustafson, a recent graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., told her friends that she was moving to Baltimore, a lot of them looked at the 24-year-old as if she were crazy.
The biggest TV drama among millennials is playing off screen. So far this season, younger viewers, the most important audience for advertisers, have ditched their TV sets at more than double the rate of previous years, new Nielsen figures show. Traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4 percent a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6 percent between September and January. In the era of smartphones and Netflix, it’s no surprise that traditional TV is losing relevance for younger viewers. But the sudden acceleration is alarming to even the most seasoned analysts.
As the economy continues to recover, economists are seeing stark differences between people with high school and college degrees. The unemployment rate is nearly twice as high for Americans with a high school diploma as for those with a four-year college degree or more. But economists say that doesn't mean everybody needs a four-year degree. In fact, millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.
A significant number of personal finance experts advise the young to stave off lifestyle inflation by keeping a style of living similar to college and banking the extra money or saving for the future. Sure, it’s a fair point to make if a person’s goal is to retire at 40 with $1 million dollars in the bank and then live off $40,000 a year and hope it doesn’t run out. But it’s a rather ridiculous request to tell 20-somethings to never inflate their lifestyles. (After all, no one wants to be eating ramen and munching on three-day-old pizza forever.) Lifestyle inflation is also sometimes entirely out of a person’s control. Gas prices fluctuate, public transit fares go up, taxes increase, landlords raise the rent, food becomes more expensive – the list goes on and on.
LIKE MOST OF you, I’ve read dozens of articles over the past few years about all the ways millennials are different from previous generations: as employees, as consumers, and as innovators. But it wasn’t until last summer, while meeting with a tech startup founded by a team of entrepreneurs in their early 30s, that I saw how millennials are acting as product development’s agents of change. We were working together to develop a new connected device for the home and we’d reached the point of discussing manufacturing options. Rather than scrutinizing a list of Asian manufacturers for the cheapest acceptable option, we spent most of our time talking about local manufacturers, and issues of environmental impact and social responsibility. For these entrepreneurs, sticking to their principles wasn’t even a question. It was part of business. What most of the analysts I’ve read don’t get is that millennials are the first generation to truly live by its own set of consumer and business rules. As consumers, they expect the brands they follow to share their principles (much as Gen X and Boomers did before them). But as entrepreneurs, they’re also able to deliver on it.