Born in the '80s, beaten down in the aughts, and considered to be the generation that gets dumped on. That is the short story of the so-called Millennials or Generation Y who have faced more than their share of hardship for most of their adult lives.
But now, as the oldest of an estimated 90 million American millennials begin to turn 35, they will start to be counted on as the next leg in the bull market.
"They have spent nearly 15 years trying to get a good job, that's equivalent to what their talents are," says Don Hays, founder and chairman of Hays Advisory Group, in the attached video.
It's not going to happen overnight, but this veteran economic observer says the effect of a very bright, highly motivated chunk of the population that wants to move out from their parents and find good, steady work is going to be enormous, and familiar.
"It's going to be very similar to what happened way back in 1980 when you had another generation taking the controls," Hays says. "They are going to usher us into a new world, just like we ushered an older generation into a new world."
For the record, from 1980 to the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the S&P 500 rose about 1,400%, from roughly 100 to nearly 1,5o0. By most accounts, it was a period of unprecedented change and technological advance.
To be sure, the millennials have faced their share of criticism but as a group they are much more globally oriented and comfortable with new technologies. But even though it could be argued that there is ample reason for millennials to steer clear of stocks, it is already apparent that stocks (e.g. big public companies) are very interested in them.
If Hays is right, it won't be a generation saying "me, me, me" as much as it will be a swarm of pent-up demand saying "more, more, more."