The stock market is starting to reflect the priorities of those born between 1980 and 2000. Leisure and travel-related stocks, including pubs, airlines and pizza restaurants, have beaten retailers since consumer confidence picked up following the financial crisis.
What little evidence -- it’s largely anecdotal -- there is, it tends to back up the arm-chair psychology. A survey by market-research firm Harris Poll and Eventbrite Inc., an online marketplace for ticket sales, showed 78 percent of millennials would rather pay for an experience than material goods. That compares with 59 percent for baby boomers. Some 82 percent of millennials said they went to a live event in the past year -- concerts and festivals -- and 72 percent said they plan to increase spending on such outings. Andrew Oswald, an economics professor at Britain’s University of Warwick in Coventry, says today’s young consumers feel like they own enough already. With their material desires almost completely exhausted, millennials need alternative roads to satisfaction, he says, referring to research by Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University.