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NEW DELHI: As millennials take on financial commitments, there is a growing realisation about responsible investing. Millennials are also looking to ace financial discipline, with over 47% of respondents favouring SIP/recurring deposits as their preferred investment pattern. About 31% of respondents said they favoured goal-based savings.

These were the findings of a survey conducted by CASHe, an AI-driven financial wellness platform. According to the ‘The Financially Independent Millennial’ report 2022, more than 43% of respondents said they started making financial decisions independently during 21-25 years. The survey was conducted among more than 20,000 customers on the CASHe platform, as well as on its newly acquired wealth management platform, Sqrrl.

With millennials growing increasingly wary about money matters post pandemic, the study indicated that a vast majority of respondents (41%) set aside 10-20% of their annual income as savings. The data showcased the growing trend of millennials adopting responsible financial behaviour at an early age. However, in contrast it also stated that a considerable chunk of millennials (around 30%) set aside less than 10% of their annual income as savings which raises concern in regard to the cohort committing to regular savings.

The report also highlighted that millennials are rapidly evolving as ‘forward thinkers’. While boomers are either into retirement or nearing it, millennials have plenty of time to plan and save. But there is a growing consciousness among millennials to start saving early for their post-retirement life. More than 34% of respondents said that they were highly conscious of the matter and have started saving already. Close to 48% of respondents said they were yet to factor in retirement planning but a considerable chunk (23%) aims to kick-start retirement planning soon.

Millennials are increasingly turning to digital alternatives and prefer to do their investments themselves. In terms of preference for new-age alternative asset classes, digital gold topped the charts with more than 33% of respondents voting for it. It showcases millennial inclination towards gold as a stable asset class and a profitable instrument offering long-term gains. Digital gold offers the digital native cohort the best of both worlds - owning physical gold with the benefits of new-age technology - that eliminates the hassles of physical inspection and onus. This was followed by cryptocurrency (29%), fractional ownership (17%), P2P lending (12%), and US equity investment (9%).

With increasing awareness about tax saving modes and avenues, millennials are joining the clique of savvy investors who look at both future returns and present tax savings. According to the survey, more than 56% invested in tax saving plans, while the rest were found supposedly unaware.

According to the report, medical emergency, accounting for 36%, was the top reason for millennials availing loans in 2022. This was followed by unplanned expenditure and education accounting for 19% and 14% respectively.

The report also highlighted that banks continue to lead the stride as the most preferred go-to lending avenue among millennials. The survey highlighted that 41% of millennials secured loans from a bank whereas 35% of the borrowers opted for a digital lending platform. Owing to the relaxed eligibility criteria, bias-free processes, and attractive interest rates, lending platforms are rapidly gaining popularity among millennials.

V Raman Kumar, Founder Chairman, CASHe said, “Millennials – the first generation to be known as digital natives have made technology an integral part of their everyday life and therefore money management too is no exception. As the country’s largest workforce, millennials are driving a paradigm shift in the wealth-management industry...CASHe has engaged with the Indian millennial cohort extensively and has been an integral part of their aspirational journey. With the acquisition of Sqrrl, we aim to leverage our deep understanding and expertise with the cohort to offer customized financial planning and investment strategies tailored to suit this unique cohort while empowering them to embrace a responsible wealth management journey."

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