Attention Millennials: Why Investing Really Is The Key To Your Future

by Jamelle Sanders

As a Millennial, I strongly believe in the power of saving, and as witnesses to the economic downturn of 2007-08, our generation has been shocked into saving money.

I'm glad to see we're saving, but I'm concerned we're too conservative with the money we reserve.

According to MarketWatch, 85 percent of Millennials are putting away a portion of their paychecks.

It's great news because a few years before the financial crisis, many Millennials weren't saving at all.

This number is slightly larger than that of our parents, grandparents and older siblings.

In fact, we're being called one of the greatest generations of savers, and it's a sign Millennials are taking their financial futures seriously.

It's a far cry from the stigma of the entitlement generation.

The recession changed our perspectives about money forever. I cannot speak for everyone, but I know the economic collapse greatly shaped my views on saving.

Even having a finance degree and a deep understanding of money did not prepare me for the economic downturn we've lived through.

We saw the Baby Boomers' savings dwindle in moments. We saw one of the worst job markets to date.

All of this has made our generation very cautious and calculated when it comes to making financial decisions.

It's great we've been impacted by these events. However, we must also let these events serve as a catalyst for greater economic empowerment.

Our fears about money have also prevented us from making the best financial decisions. We've become so fearful about money.

Most Millennials keep their money in savings or checking accounts. Some are so terrified, they keep their money in safes or under mattresses.

I'm in no way encouraging you to get rid of your savings or checking accounts. I just want you to be aware checking and savings accounts accrue very little interest.

MarketWatch reports just 26 percent of Millennials are investing in stocks. It's wise to be conservative, but if we want to accrue true wealth, we must invest in other financial vehicles.

Millennials must become more intentional with their savings. I would encourage you to divide your savings between an emergency fund and an exchange traded fund.

Your emergency fund should have six to eight months of expenses, in case you find yourself in extreme financial hardship.

I’m encouraging you to get an exchange traded fund because this gives you a way to start saving for the medium term as well as your retirement.

Although it may be challenging, Millennials should try to put away 20 percent of their incomes each month.

We've made great progress as Millennials.

We've buckled down and become financially empowered. However, we have to understand the importance of saving for the future.

Continue to build your savings account, but also start a retirement account.

If we make the right decisions today, the golden years of our lives will be much more enjoyable.