My friend zzXiaoboizz alerted me to this survey done with Millennials and Gen Z on social issues, goals and their sentiments towards the pandemic.
Today polled 1066 respondents aged between 18 to 35 years old at the start of October this year. So this is rather recent.
Among the results, the respondents were asked about their views towards career and material success.
This is the result:
I dunno how the question was asked but I suspect the respondents were presented with some options and this is what they chose.
The top two chosen as key indicators of material success is what Investment Moats readers will be able to identify with.
If you look at the rankings, those tangible material goods such as designer clothes, accessories, high-end restaurants, a high number of social media followers are supposed to be the stuff that we think identify the youths and young adults of today.
Those higher rank stuff such as investment property, private home, passive income from financial investments and funds to retire early requires more delay gratification to accumulate.
It feels to me that the survey shows that the younger adults have chosen pragmatic wishes compared to experiential enjoyment.
But I guess the result is very much influenced by our current mental state. The survey shows that the young adults seem to be feeling conflicted about their mental state. Mr Praveen Nair, a counsellor at Raven Counselling and Consultancy said that a few of our “positive weights” such as socialisation and career stability have been partially taken away from us.
More “negative weights” such as depression, job instability and loneliness have taken the place of those positive weights.
There is something very telling.
I think people should understand investment property and private homes but enough funds to retire early and passive income from investments above these two.
The difference between the latter versus the former is that they better describe an ideal kind of lifestyle that the young adults that they can identify with.
Having passive income from investments and funds to retire early allows you optionality and be able to retire early.
The youth of today crave this ideal lifestyle than the financial instrument itself.
It may also be that many felt that private property and investment property is too out of reach (but then the amount you need to retire early is also just as big).
Ultimately, they ranked funds to retire early above passive income from financial investments.
If you have enough passive income from financial investments you have optionality in life.
But to the young adults today, having optionality is not enough.
Either they are really burnt out, don’t like their job or that they are so traumatised at work that they need to quit.
I conclude the following:
The young adults of today would rather deprioritize a lot of material things they enjoyed so that they increase their chances of reaching the financial nirvana of not having to work.
I have some mixed thoughts about this.
Financial independence retire early used to be such an incredulous concept. For the majority of my generation, this is something that is so unattainable it feels so bullshit to them.
My generation identifies with working, buying private property, investment property more.
Perhaps for the first time, paper assets, digital assets and managed investments can really take off in a big way in Singapore.
My friend Christopher Ng used to tell me “Kyith if you go on a date next time, don’t play that ‘I am financial independent’ trump card.”
The reason is that:
- It doesn’t show my propensity to earn
- It doesn’t show my ability to take care of her
- What the fxxk is ‘financially independent’ anyway!
It kinda shows how unconsumable the FIRE concept is to the normal folk.
Normally, I would discount the result of this survey. But then… this is the second survey that I encounter that showed this result.
Last year, I gave an internal webinar with my colleague Chin Yu to the young adults of the clients of Providend.
Our intern help us prepare a set of materials to present. He helped us survey a group of young adults.
86% wanted to learn to invest because they wish to achieve financial freedom.
One or more survey results might just confirm how young adults feel about work versus freedom to do what they want.
As more and more friends start sharing their exploits in the crypto and stock speculation world, what was something hard to achieve might be possible.
Interestingly, the more oppressed we feel at work, the more appealing passive income from investment sounds.
Unfortunately, it is often those who are more cornered and desperate that will be taken in by Facebook and YouTube advertisements overselling the prospect of earning passive income without much knowledge needed and without much effort needed.
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