Kyla Scanlon talks Generation Z’s divided investing approach

Economic commentator Kyla Scanlon sees a potentially worrying trend in investing attitudes among younger generations.

“It’s a divided world,” he told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” this week.

Scanlon, 26, who rose to fame through her social media videos on the markets and the economy, explained why some members of Generation Z are saving aggressively for key moments like retirement, while others are taking a much more lax approach.

“You have people who are maxing out their 401(k)s. They’re doing everything they can to plan for retirement,” he said. “But then you have the other side, which is an element of financial nihilism, where people don’t want to save for retirement. They generally don’t want to save money because they don’t believe there’s a future.”

Scanlon is aiming to bridge Gen Z’s divided financial outlook with her new book, “In This Economy? How Money and Markets Really Work.”

“Financial education will always be an uphill battle, because money is such a personal topic. But it’s important that we give people the tools they need to get somewhere to start,” he said.

She points to the housing market as a prime example where young people are falling behind. According to a recent report, Generation Zers represent only 3% of total homebuyers in 2023. National Association of Realtors — a figure that Scanlon attributes to high interest rates.

“The younger generation definitely wants [homeownership]”Because there’s a huge financial benefit to having equity,” he said. “People are trying to figure out right now how to do this financially, given where mortgage rates are, given where home prices are. It’s difficult.”

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