Top Stories
Top Stories

Here’s how to trade millennials

Understanding generations Y and Z is key for investors: BAML

Generations Y and Z will soon be the most important demographic in the economy, and companies and investors need to adapt in order to benefit from this sea change, according to experts.

"We believe that the millennials and centennials are the most important demographic cohort around the world," Sarj Nahal, managing director and head of thematic investing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC's Street Signs.

Millennials (those aged 19 to 35) and the next generation (centennials, aged between 0 to 18) will together make up 60 percent of the global workforce by 2020, becoming the most important consumer group, the bank predicted in a report published in August.

According to Nahal, companies will need to adapt and evolve n to engage Generation XY and Z. For instance, they need to make information shareable and "snackable," as younger generations have shorter attention spans and are likely to lose interest in a topic within 3 to 30 seconds.

"Technology is an innate part of their lives. Companies have to make this transition towards using social media, towards using apps and developing a seamless omni-channel experience for these younger clients if they are going to maintain them as clients."

Another trend to watch is how the consumer patterns of millennials will change as more and more of them become parents.

"We see the $1 trillion that parents spend on children each year growing, but also shifting as millennials' unique set of values and influencers – aided by technology – leads to new choices," said a report by Goldman Sachs published in May.

"Based on our observations of this cohort to date, we think their affinity is greatest towards brands with authentic narratives that deliver a frictionless experience across physical and digital spaces."

The report tipped Carters, Williams Sonoma and Hasbro as shares which will benefit from increased spending by millennial parents.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.