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Don't LOL: Millennials Have Their Own ETF

Don't LOL: Millennials Have Their Own ETF

Congratulations, Millennials. Ye of the 18 to 34 age demographic, or however conventional media is defining Millennial (the definition changes so much, 40 year olds will soon be Millennials), you've got your own exchange-traded fund.

Global X bolstered its lineup of thematic ETFs with Thursday's launch of the Global X Millennials Thematic ETF (NASDAQ: MILN).

MILN “seeks to invest in companies that have a high likelihood of benefiting from the rising spending power and unique preferences of the U.S. Millennial generation (birth years ranging from 1980–2000). These companies come from a broad range of categories, including: social media and entertainment, food and dining, clothing and apparel, health and fitness, travel and mobility, education and employment, housing and home goods, and financial services,” according to New York-based Global X.

Related Link: Millennials, It's Financial Literacy Month: Here's 20 Top Tips

Sector Weights, Broad Trends And A New Way To Trade

The new ETF follows the Indxx Millennials Thematic Index. MILN's sector weights are reflective of how Wall Street perceives spending trends for Millennials. For example, the new ETF allocates nearly a third of its weight to two Internet industry groups. Two apparel industries combine for over 10 percent of the MILN's weight.

Alright, time for this grumpy member of Gen X to have some fun. Credit problems are hindering Millennials from buying houses, yet MILN allocates 15 percent of its combined weight to residential real estate investment trusts and home improvement retailers. Perhaps the intent here is to get investors to believe mom and dad's basement is an REIT, and Millennials are spending to fix it up. LOL, pun intended.

In other words, it's understandable that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is MILN's largest holding. Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD) being in the top 10 holdings, well, that's arguably a stretch.

Another quibble: Global X conveniently expanded the definition of Millennial to 16 to 36 years old. The Census Bureau puts it at 18 to 35 as of last year.

The reality is if one was born when he or she can remember part of the Reagan Administration, “Miami Vice,” glam rock, grunge and the East Coast/West Coast rap wars, they are members of Gen X. Someone that's 35 or 36 today remembers those things, but media – and now ETF companies – shift the definition of Millennial to fit their purposes.

Furthermore, by expanding the age demographics to include younger individuals as well, as noted by Global X's "new" interpretation, places those individuals three years younger than the most recent Census Bureau's youngest Millennial into the same generation. See the point of contention here?

And there is the much-ballyhooed transference of wealth from younger baby boomers to Millennials. Well, that's going to take awhile for the simple fact that Millennials' parents are younger than the parents of Gen X kids. So, not to be dark, and hopefully my own parents forgive me, but Gen X will be getting inheritances sooner than Millennials. Yet, we don't get an ETF. Insert frownie emoji here.


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