Monday Morning Outlook: Respect Millennials

Politics today is in large part about pitting one group against another and convincing one side they've been treated unfairly. One of those groups is the younger generation of workers known as Millennials, who are supposedly up to their eyeballs in debt and lagging well behind prior generations.

Before we get into it, let's define who we're talking about:

  • Millennials (born 1981-96)
  • Generation X (born 1965-80)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-64)
  • Silent Generation (born before 1946)

Politics is a zero-sum game, so instead of focusing on whether the pie is growing or shrinking, politicians and many others like to focus on who owns what share of the pie. In this case the pie we're talking about is total wealth among all American households. In turn, net worth is assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, bank deposits, pension entitlements, and ownership in businesses) minus liabilities (mortgages, student loans, car loans,...etc.).

As of the middle of this year, Baby Boomers had 51.4% of all net worth, according to the Federal Reserve. Pretty good for a group that makes up about 21% of the US population. Generation X has 28.6% of US wealth.