Fear of Uncertainty: Hispanic Adult Millennials and Risk Aversion

by Erica Saylor, Tr3s

Many of the posts focusing on specific insights from Tr3s’s 2012 research study Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty have circled around an important theme: their desire to avoid risk. This week, we’re going to go into more depth on this topic because it is perhaps the most important piece of general information about Hispanic Adult Millennials to emerge from our research.

While risk aversion was common among the Hispanics 18 to 29 who participated in our study, this attitude is not specific to Hispanics – it’s a core Millennial value. Young people are assessing all decisions — big and small — for risk and make choices that they feel will minimize potential pitfalls.

Several things have contributed to their sense of anxiety: growing up in a Homeland Security world, natural disasters like Katrina and Sandy, and above all, the poor economy since 2008. Today’s Millennials have come of age with less money than Xers did when they approached and entered adulthood. They have different feelings about money in general. Where Xers and Boomers enjoyed high-risk activities and flaunted wealth, Millennials make careful decisions and see money as a protective talisman. Spending wisely makes them feel more secure – and that financial cushion will come in handy (and decrease their risk exposure) when it comes time to take a gamble and move out of their parents’ house or buy a house of their own.

Here are some of the primary ways Hispanic Adult Millennials’ fear of risk is manifesting in their behavior:

Living with their parents longer. While many Hispanic Adult Millennials can’t afford to move out yet, others have the money – but express major worries that “something could happen” if they were to become independent. Others are emotionally cocooned and don’t have the desire to leave. When they do leave Mom and Dad’s house, they don’t plan to go far.

Not rushing into marriage. Getting married is a risk both economically and emotionally. Money is the main hindrance, but they also have things they want to do first – like be happy, build financial stability, and establish a career.

Buying satisfactory things at a good price. Pragmatism is a goal when making purchases, even if it’s sometimes sidetracked for the sake of convenience. They also seek out the best deals using a combination of online and old school resources.

Consulting with experts about potential purchases. Whether a close relative, specialist salesperson in a store, or online reviews, Hispanic Adult Millennials research products before buying them so feel like they’re getting the most for their money.

Being highly protective parents. Hispanic Adult Millennials with children are on high alert for risk to their kids. They are vigilant about keeping perceived threats out and extremely selective about what they allow into their children’s lives. They look at new products that aren’t trusted brands with suspicion, and truly trust only their closest family members with their kids.

Source: Tr3s 2012 “Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty”

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