Generation Z’s views on money and financial status differ distinctly from Millennials. This shapes their decisions and behavior from salary levels to homeownership and leaves ample opportunity for financial institutions to get in front of and work with this generation.
The dot-com bubble burst the year I was born. When the Great Recession began, I was six. I was seven years old when the housing bubble finally popped. And today, many still live in fragile economic times.
While the United States has experienced a period of economic growth since there continues to be a sense of worry. There is unrest that can throw financial markets off. We are reminiscent of past events and recall family members struggling during the recession.
Because of some of those factors, Gen Z places a premium on the value of financial status. We are a materialistic generation, and one’s social status can depend on their socioeconomic status. Research from a case study by start-up company FLAME shows that over 75% of Gen Zs are motivated by money.
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The value we place on money will also translate to the recruiting world. When asked what is more important in a job, 66% of Gen Z survey respondents said that finding a job with financial stability is more important than finding a job you enjoy. A good salary is the most important factor in a job to Gen Z.
This is a stark departure from Millenials, who emphasize other aspects of a job. Gen Z has learned lessons from watching Millennials struggle with student loan debt, as our shared goal is to live debt-free. When asked about financial goals in life, some of the most common answers were along the lines of living comfortably and being able to support a family.
However, we are not naive that there is a lot of money to be made in today’s economy. Shows like the business-themed reality show Shark Tank have inspired young people. Business and entrepreneurship are extremely attractive to Gen Z. Our global survey shows that 58% percent of Zs want to own a business one day, and 14% already do, including myself. Some take their ideas to new heights, including 15-year-old Moziah “Mo” Bridges, founder of Mo’s Bows. His company recently entered what may become a seven-figure licensing partnership with the NBA. Others pitch business ideas, such as Aarushi Machavarapu’s Threading Twine, which won first place at the SXSW EDU Start-Up competition.
Additionally, we are very enamored by the stock market. Only 2% of Gen Z look at the stock market negatively, while 48% look at it positively. The remaining 50% is indifferent, which could be attributed to the fact that 3 out of 4 Gen Zs say that the education system has not provided them with adequate financial skills to succeed. But what’s important to understand is that the desire to learn is there, as 73% of respondents say they are interested in learning more about the stock market. And, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, Gen Z is intrigued by utilizing financial markets to create and sustain wealth.
Gen Z is a financially aware and financially sensitive group of young adults, teens, and tweens. There is ample opportunity for financial institutions to get in front of this generation and prepare us to succeed in the economy. It may provide access to capital to start or build businesses, buy a home, or provide tools to engage with the stock market. The interest is there, so those organizations who invest in Generation Z should be rewarded.