A millennial's view of the volatile market

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

When I see a market like this I really start to wonder, along with everyone else, what causes something like this to happen? But unlike analysts and traders, millennials like me don't usually have a well of knowledge to tap into in order to make sense of it. Ultimately, what I end upexperiencing is frustration with not being able to predict the actions of the market.

People are constantly questioning whether millennials have the skills and knowledge necessary to be active contributor sto the economy, and for the most part we do. But I'm not sure if that means most of us actually want to participate in the equity markets. Contrary to popular belief, millennials do not share a collective consciousness, so I can only speak for myself. But, with college debt higher than ever and the state of our economy seeming to be so dubious, I am hesitant to put what little wealth I have into the market. Especially a market that can be as volatile as the one we're seeing now.

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I will say that the fault does not completely lie at the feet of the market. Millennials are notorious for our utter phobia of commitment. My friends scoff at ideas like home ownership, marriage, credit scores, and investing. The problem with this is that the market is an important part of our lives and our country's foundation whether we like it or realize it or not. So perhaps the best thing we can do is push forward and learn that sometimes we have to take risks and commit to something.

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I know I can't predict the future with any regularity, but I have done my best to prepare for the unknown journey ahead of me. The truth is, when I see the market acting like this, it doesn't inspire much confidence. I'm reminded of my own fears, and the last thing that my life or the market needs is more uncertainty. But in the end I understand what needs to be done, and from experience I know that the world isn't always a safe place. So if I really want to prepare myself for the real world, maybe the first step is tot hrow my cash into the market and invest. Maybe stepping forward into the unknown is better than sitting around in uncertainty waiting for clarity.