I interact with a lot of youngsters. I mean from age 21 (fresh graduates), 23 (fresh MBAs) up to the age of 30- and a few who are older too. I would have said Young, Fabulous and Broke – but Susie Orman uses it regularly on her show!

I do not think there is a pattern to their financial behaviour – each person is so different that the ‘convenient’ clubbing that financial planners, bloggers, TV anchors do (or rather have to do!) sounds illogical. However there is no choice – programs / blogs/ articles have to address groups and cannot really be custom made for each person.

Some of the stand out characteristics of kids born in the 1980s (not including even 1979 – clearly 80s ONLY) are nice to see:

a. They are confident: clearly kids born in a free economy (no socialism baggage, except hand me downs from parents – largely born in the 50s, 60s).

b. Job is my birthright: ‘If I lose my job in the 4th floor of a building, I may just have to go to the 3rd’ – is what one of those kids told me.

c. Brand loyalty / craze: obviously as peer pressure there is tremendous willingness to pay a huge premium for branded goods.

d. No brand intimidation: Having said that they are brand loyal, many of them will happily chuck a job in TCS for a job in Mukesh Trading and Brokerage if they think they will be better off there. No worry of chucking well paying big brand jobs. This attitude they seem to have applied to their college choice too – they need a BE or a MBA – immaterial as to where they have got it from. Very few kids born even in the 1970s have this attitude.

e. Riskless..well er..so we think: Any financial planner would want kids of this age group to have upwards of 90% in equities – but I see them REBALANCING even now into ‘bank fixed deposits’ or ‘psu run elss schemes’ – as a risk reduction strategy (will do a separate post too!).

f. They are young, earn well (even inflation adjusted, salaries have gone up over the past 30 years for sure), lead a glamorous life (lets do a Barista or a CCD is the norm), have an excessively debt oriented portfolio, and most importantly live on a day to day basis.

g. One thing common surely is ALL of them are broke! Whether it is because they are paying the EMI on a car gifted to ‘Dad’ on his 50th birthday, or co-paying a housing loan, or buying a top end motorcycle, ‘doing a Barista regularly’ – the reasons could be many, but yes, most of them – Boy or Girl – cannot afford to remain unemployed EXCEPT with help from the ATM at home named POP or MOM.

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  1. I was born in the 80’s. The last SANE generation! We are the last generation that learnt to play in the street, we are the first who’ve played video games, seen cartoons in color and went to amusement parks. We were the last to record songs of the radio on cassettes and we are the pioneers of walkmans and chatrooms… …We’ve also Learnt How to program the VCR before anyone else, play with the Atari, Super… Nintendo and believed that the Internet would be a free world all on a 56kbit modem Traveled in cars without seat belts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. Rode our bicycles down the road without brakes. We never had phones but still kept in touch. We did not have Play stations, 99 television stations, flat screens, surround sound, mp3s, iPods, computers and broadband…

    (copied from FB)

  2. subra,

    you said “these 1980s kids have had a foreign vac, a car, tv, etc. as a part of their schooling”

    Me and many of my friends or college mates DID NOT go to foreign vacation when we were in school…i know atleast 40-50 of such people born in 1980…and only 5 to 7 had car at home…

    All these people belong to middle class(pune and across maharashtra)

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