As a personal finance reporter at CNBC, when the stock market drops, as it has from the coronavirus outbreak, I write stories reminding our readers to remain focused on their long-term goals and to resist panic.
Beneath that advice, however, I usually have a nagging feeling – a wish that I was more worried by the latest drop in the Dow. The reality for me, and for many of my friends in their late 20s and early 30s, is that we don’t have enough savings on the line to care all that much. I think of Bob Dylan’s lyric from his song, “Like a Rolling Stone”: When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
Indeed, many of us have nothing invested. Fewer than a third of millennials, often considered those born between 1981 and 1996, are saving in a 401(k) retirement plan, according to Charles Schwab’s 2019 Modern Wealth Survey. Not even 1 in 5 of us has an investment account. Overall, nearly half of Americans don’t own a single stock.
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