Investopedia sought to examine what motivated investment decisions for a generation that came into adulthood during the great recession and has notoriously encountered a variety of challenging economic factors. In order to understand attitudes around investment, we studied those who should have disposable income to invest, referred to as “affluent millennials.” By examining a segment of the population that makes a greater than average yearly income for their age group, we hoped to eliminate financial hardship from the reasons they may not invest. 

Working with market research firm Chirp Research in May 2019, Investopedia obtained responses from 1,405 Americans, comprised of 844 affluent millennials (ages 23-38) through an online survey and compared their actions and attitudes to 430 Gen X and 131 Gen Z respondents. Affluent younger millennials were defined as those ages 23-29 with a household income (HHI) of $50,000 or more, and older millennials as those ages 30-38 with a HHI of $100,000 or more. The survey’s median millennial income was $132,473, compared to a median millennial HHI of $69,000.

Before fielding the quantitative survey, Investopedia wanted to ensure the right kinds of questions would be asked, in language that resonated with the respondents. Investopedia worked with Chirp to conduct nine 60-minute 1-on-1 interviews with participants in Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas, and New York City. The interviews focused specifically on the language affluent millennials use to describe experiences managing their own finances, as well as their opinions, beliefs, and attitudes toward managing money and investing.