It’s time to take matters into your own hands – The New Indian Express



Express news service

There’s something about Gen Z, the age group of people born in 2000 or later. The pandemic left them with no choice but to learn to adapt. A study of young people in India was aptly titled “Atmanirbhar by Circumstance” by MTV, a music channel owned by the US group Viacom. They interviewed more than 26,000 people aged 15 to 25 in 50 Indian cities. These answered 185 questions covering topics such as education, money, romance, and national interest.

For the sake of this column, we will focus on the attitude of the younger generation towards money and work. The results show that making money fast dominates the thinking process of most of these young people. Up to 46 percent of them said money is all that matters. This represents an increase from 21% in 2019, according to the study. Perhaps this explains the boom in stock transactions and mat accounts over the past two years. For years, the number of demat accounts has languished around 2.5 crore. Over the past two years, that has jumped to 7 crore. Most people in financial services attribute this to the presence of young people. The study reaffirms that these young people intend to earn money quickly.

The study reveals that most young people are opportunistic and seek to diversify their bets. They can no longer put all the eggs in one basket. Your money has always needed the support of this attitude. For years, young people have been told to save and put money aside in secure assets for rainy days. When the rainy day arrived, many may have realized that just keeping safe investments like a bank or term deposits was not enough. They need more than that. The other realization that young people have had is that they can no longer be a ‘one-ride pony’. They need a little push to make more money. So, the way to deal with the current crisis due to the pandemic is to increase your overall income.

With a focus on earning more and investing more, you need to arm yourself with the proper knowledge. There are some big pitfalls if you walk blindly in the investment world. By starting with exchange traded funds or index funds, you can get the taste of investing in stocks. As your confidence grows, you can add diversified equity funds. In the meantime, you can learn more about direct investing. Numerous online aids are available to you. Suppose you are not a finance person and you are unlikely to follow the financial markets on a regular basis. In this case, it is better to invest regularly in index or exchange-traded funds or in diversified mutual funds.

However, if you are keen to learn, you have to take small steps. You need to clearly understand the difference between investing and trading. There are different levels of risk associated with investing. You need to be up to date with all of them. Investing, trading and making money requires you to make an effort to learn. It must be an ongoing process.

The future of young people
Job prospects in India are a challenge for the future. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly set back businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses will take years to recover. New job opportunities must be created or found. Public data on jobs shows a mixed picture.

India’s total bank lending to the non-financial sector stood at 57.4% of GDP in 2020. This is well below the 100% average in emerging market economies. If banks don’t lend money to businesses, they wouldn’t increase capacity or hire new people. Below par bank loans occur when interest rates tend to fall due to stable or low inflation. Much depends on the risks young people take in investing in themselves or in coming up with new ideas.

The good thing about being young is that you can afford to make mistakes now. Learn from them and rebuild. Having free time is the biggest asset. In the MTV survey, they found that young people are now learning to earn money through their passion and hobbies. It’s a good sign.

46% of 15-25 year olds say money is all that matters

2.5 crore The number of mat accounts remained relatively stable until two years ago

7 crore demat accounts are currently active due to the large influx of young retail investors

(The author is editor-in-chief at



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