Vanguard comes to a similar conclusion. In a July research report, it notes that at least a quarter of its millennial investors have adopted more conservative portfolios in their IRA or taxable brokerage accounts. They are likely influenced by the bear markets during the recession, Vanguard says.
Nearly 20 percent of millennials hold no stocks at all in their IRA or taxable brokerage accounts, Vanguard says. In contrast, only about 14 percent of Gen-Xers and 12 percent of Baby Boomers have similar portfolios.
Their general hesitation about the market could present a problem, because investing has proven to be one of the most reliable ways to grow your wealth, prepare for the future and potentially get to the $1 million in savings experts recommend you have to retire.
Still, millennials generally feel good about what lies ahead. Schwab found 76 percent of millennials believe they will have better financial futures than their parents.
"In spite of witnessing and being part of the recession, they still have a great amount of optimism," Schwab-Pomerantz says. "I don't know that we can say that about our grandparents."
Here's how much money Americans have saved
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