Naveen Senthamilselvan – Easing Millennials’ Financial Anxieties Through Building Financial Resilience

Small Business Canada

Senior Manager, Wealth Management, Meridian

CanadianSME sat down with Naveen Senthamilselvan, Senior Manager, Wealth Management, Meridian, earlier this year to talk about the survey conducted by Meridian regarding millennials’ financial anxieties and stress as well as the reason behind such stress. We have also discussed what led Naveen to conduct such a survey and his tips and strategies to help overcome this and build financial resilience. So, for some fundamental advice and tactics to assist millennials to overcome their financial anxieties and acquiring confidence, this interview with Naveen Senthamilselvan was a game-changer. Together, we explore his vision of our new era ahead.


What was the motivation behind Meridian conducting the new survey about Millennials suffering from underlying financial anxiety?

Meridian does a lot of work with Millennials – they are an important demographic. We conducted this survey to deepen our understanding of them and their relationships with money. With this deep dive into their mindset, we can better support their needs based on what they have told us with an end goal to work together to help build financial resilience.


Can you provide some keen insights on the uniquely Canadian survey results? And what is the exact reason behind this?

Surprisingly 56% of Millennials say they learned to save and set financial goals growing up and 79% said they felt knowledgeable about finances when they left home. More than half (51%) say they still deal with leftover money anxiety from childhood. Although Millennials have healthy money values and beliefs, 58% of Millennials rate their money knowledge as a medium to low and the vast majority (73%) don’t work with an advisor and instead go it alone when it comes to financial planning and investments.

This data shows us that the strong interest, proactivity and self-efficacy around finances that Millennials have means they are attracted to self-directed investing apps and experimentation. This open and engaged approach can be very beneficial when it comes to lifelong financial learning. On the other hand, given Millennials’ financial values of transparency, collaboration and partnership, it’s interesting that more Millennials aren’t reaching out to talk through their financial goals with an advisor who may also help ease financial anxieties by providing an independent perspective on their financial goals, plans and accomplishments.

Naveen Senthamilselvan – Easing Millennials’ Financial Anxieties Through Building Financial Resilience Click To Tweet

Do you know any strategies to help Millennials become more comfortable with their finances?

In general, the survey shows that Millennials may feel intimidated to reach out for financial support and advice. They may not see how it’s possible to blend self-directed investing and apps with an independent professional perspective. The best strategy would be to continue to encourage Millennials to talk openly about their financial questions & concerns so they can feel confident and curious enough to reach out for support. To help support that process and make you comfortable with your finances, we would suggest speaking with an advisor and talking through your goals


Based on your research and personal experience, what is the most important factor in overcoming money stress?

First, you must identify what is causing your money stress to come up with a solution. Our survey results suggest there is a combination of factors leading to money stress & anxiety:

  • 51% of Millennials say they battle lingering money anxiety from childhood.
  • More than 30% (the highest of all generations) say their parents were always worried about money.
  • 20% (highest of all generations) say money caused tensions and arguments growing up.

There is a common feeling amongst Millennials that they have to “go it alone.” They worry that they don’t have enough money to access support and the perspective of financial advisors when it comes to assessing their finances and working toward goals.

The best thing you can do to overcome money stress is to identify the problem/cause of your money stress and address it head-on (whether that be on your own or with the help of an advisor).


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What are some key pieces of advice you would give to someone looking to become financially successful in this generation?

A piece of advice I’d offer would be to utilize some of the tools you have at your disposal. For example, there are lots of online self-directed financial & investing apps available to all. I’d recommend accessing some of our free Meridian resources that can help you assess how you’re doing, and how you can improve.

I would also suggest working with a wealth advisor you trust. They can help you gain the confidence and traction to start rebuilding your relationship with money.

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