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Millennials Gain Ground, But Remain the Slow-Start Generation

With only 8% of their assets in equities, they haven’t gotten much benefit from the stock market boom.
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Illustration: George Wylesol for Bloomberg Businessweek

Millennials, or those born from 1981 to 1996, have long been called the generation of slow starters. One example: A 2015 report from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee was titled Millennials’ Slow Start Down the Road of Life. And as Bloomberg News wrote in June: “In almost every way measurable, millennials in the U.S. at 40 are doing worse financially than the generations that came before them.”

But during the pandemic, the generation that grew up during the Great Recession has briskly embraced homeownership, accounting for more than half of all home purchase loan applications in 2020. And with the U.S. residential market booming, millennials are also getting wealthier. As of June their net worth reached $7.5 trillion, 70% higher than two years ago, data compiled by the Federal Reserve show. Real estate accounts for just over a third of their assets.