Saturday 10 December 2016 11:34 am

Generation unlucky: Millennials are feeling sorry for themselves financially (and don't mention Brexit)

With Christmas on the way, spare a thought for the millennials in your life. They are are probably feeling hard done by financially, and miserable about 2016’s Brexit vote.

Maybe you could consider putting another tangerine in their stocking, or adding an extra £5 on to their HMV gift card, to make up for it.

A new report out today has shown how millennials (those aged between 18 and 35) consider themselves to be an unlucky generation financially.

Read more: The kids don't want rented homes: They want to buy, like everyone else

Some 62 per cent of those surveyed by Hargreaves Lansdown consider their generation to be unlucky or very unlucky. Their average luck score out of 10 came in at 3.5.

This compared with 5.6 among Generation X (36-50), 7.3 among the Baby Boomers (51-70) and 7.9 for the Silent Generation (71 and over).


Millennials were also the most pessimistic about the EU referendum result.

The survey of 2,000 investors across the age ranges found seven in 10 millennials thought the vote would have a negative impact on the economy in the next 12 months.

Generation X (56 per cent), Baby Boomers (43 per cent) and the Silent Generation (34 per cent) were more upbeat.

All of those surveyed were more positive about the long-term impact of the vote: 40 per cent of millennials thought it would be a good thing for the economy over the next 10 years, behind 47 per cent of Generation X, 60 per cent of Baby Boomers and 68 per cent of the Silent Generation.

Interest rates

There was also a notable difference of opinions between generations on interest rates.

Some 34 per cent of millennials and 42 per cent of Generation X said low interest rates have helped them, compared with 16 per cent of Baby Boomers and seven per cent of the Silent Generation.

Read more: UK missing out on £45bn millennials dividend


One of the key frustrations among younger folk identified by Hargreaves Lansdown was property. Some 24 per cent of the millennials surveyed said they want to buy a house but cannot afford one.

More than 70 per cent of investors across each age range believe houses are currently overpriced, and 15 per cent of millennials think the housing market is in a bubble.

“The variation between the generations in terms of their investment habits stems from both their different experiences, and also the fact that financial goals change as investors move through the various stages of their lives,” said Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf.

The disparity between how different generations view low interest rates is quite clear, and shows how loose monetary policy has hit the over 50s harder than their younger counterparts, as savers tend to accumulate more cash in the bank and reduce borrowing as they grow older.

Nonetheless older investors still feel they have been much luckier financially than younger generations. Part of the reason for this may lie in the housing market, with one in four millennials looking to get on to the property ladder, but finding themselves unable to afford the first step.

On Brexit, Khalaf added: “The economic effect of Brexit is also a bone of contention amongst the different generations. There is concern across the board about the effects over the short term, but baby boomers and the silent generation are much more upbeat about the long term results we can expect from Brexit.”