Being a part of the much maligned Generation Y, it is easy to take offence at the negative assertions. My first defence is always to affirm the positive attributes that my generation embodies. We are tech-savvy, family oriented, ambitious team players who love to be liked. We are confident in our ability to take on important roles and believe there is no limit to what we can achieve. Just like Mark Zuckerburg.

That said, the vast majority of us will never be Zuckerburg and when it comes to financial management, our shortcomings are concerning. Research tells us that, for the most part, we have high debt levels (mainly study-related) very early on, that on the whole we start to accumulate long-term assets (such as housing) later than previous generations and that we are not sufficiently protected against unexpected events (health issues, income protection, loss of personal belongings).1

To compound things, we are the group that is least likely to seek professional financial advice2.

An ASIC report offers insight as to why Gen Y is reluctant to seek advice3:

• professional financial advice is perceived as being too expensive;

• the type of advice promoted by licensees does not resonate with Gen Y needs;

• there is a sense that one needs to be affluent for it to be worthwhile.

Gen Y as a whole, is and will likely continue to face the reality of higher house prices, increased cost of living, higher debt levels and therefore, increased pressure on cash flow. An urgent focus on cash flow management is a key driver in breaking the debt cycle and it needs to be taken seriously.

Everyone wants to build wealth and for most people, all they need to do is take the next step and seek the right type of financial advice. Every journey begins with a single step. More often than not, I hear the words “I don’t have enough money to invest’, but when I ask where the money is being spent, the silence is deafening. It’s quite simple – the first logical step is to know where your money is being spent. Help with the fundamentals of budgeting and saving will ultimately achieve the financial goals you aspire to.

Budgeting and savings advice is dearly needed and very affordable for the average cash-strapped Gen Y. It shouldn’t be confused with investment portfolio or tax optimisation strategies. It is simply understanding your cash flow position and identifying opportunities that exist for your money to work better for you. Your adviser’s role is to identify issues and resolutions, be your sounding board and the person who keeps you accountable – a trusted adviser.

Cash flow management is the first and most workable step for Gen Y’s to gain traction and take control of their financial affairs. It’s affordable, it addresses Gen Y specific needs and, is beneficial no matter what your current financial situation may be. There’s a bit of Zuckerburg in every one of us.

Please note: General Disclaimer Warning The information provided in this bulletin is general information only. It has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. We can assist you in determining the appropriateness of any product or information mentioned in this bulletin. You should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement relating to the products mentioned herein.

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