What makes us invest?

The way we invest varies: some prefer stability, while others thrive on risk. But what we all have in common is a goal that motivates us. Listen to three investors chat about what drives them to build a secure foundation for their financial future.

Lydia

Woman | Early 30s | Millennial | Conservative investor

I still think I’m a better saver than investor. It’s just so much easier to understand. But I’m trying to make that transition.

I want to live on a budget and pretend that the extras don’t exist. My future self will thank me for that.

  • Transcript

    I am basically like a squirrel, with a bunch of acorns. I love to save, and I think having a freelance-heavy career early on helped me really learn the importance of managing your money, like keeping a budget. Now my 9 to 5 is as at a creative ad agency, and I save quite a bit from my income—I just have it automatically deducting money from my account every week. I keep a target number and if I end up having a little extra, then I throw it all straight into savings because I just want to live on a budget and pretend that the extras don't even exist. I assume my future self will thank me for that.

    As far as investing goes, that’s a little more interesting, because you've got to think about it from a few different perspectives, like investing in your retirement. But in terms of other investments, that all started when I was 24. I walked into my bank and they were like, "Oh, you've got some money sitting in savings, the returns aren't great. You should definitely think about putting it in the money market fund." Which I did. Right now I still think I’m a better saver than investor. It’s just so much easier to understand. But I’m trying to make that transition.

    I feel somewhat confident in the steps I’ve taken so far, though I’m always looking for good financial advice. You know, even though I’m very cautious and a lot of thought and research went into those steps, there is always more to learn.

    I'm really looking forward to being on a beach somewhere, under an umbrella.

70%

Millennials prefer to save and are most eager to explore new investment offerings. 70% of millennials are likely to invest in ETFs in the next year.
Source: BlackRock 2016 U.S. ETF Pulse Survey

Tammy

Woman | Late 40s | Gen X | Moderate risk appetite

I have to credit my father with having me meet with his financial adviser at a very young age, around 22.

  • Transcript

    I have to credit my father with having me meet with his financial adviser at a very young age, around 22. And in retrospect I have to thank the adviser too. Here I was this kid, a year out of college in 1992 making $20,000 a year. I'm sure he had dozens of other high-net worth clients, but he treated me like an equal, even though I could only put aside a tiny amount of money every month in a mutual fund. But I kept that up year after year and got into the habit.

    Right now I’m sorting into 3 buckets: short, medium, and long term. Short term savings means me putting aside money for short term goals: an emergency fund, apartment renovations, taxes for my side business, etc. I have longer term goals, and I keep putting money into index funds to try and build up as much money as I can. This is saving for my family. I'm trying to get back to the point where I'm putting aside a decent portion of my pay toward those investments.

52%

52% of Gen Xers feel that a personal relationship with a financial advisor is important.
Source: BlackRock 2015 Global Investor Pulse Survey

David

Male | Early 60s | Boomer | Aggressive investor

As an entrepreneur trying to launch a new business, savings is kind of an alien concept.

  • Transcript

    I think saving as a concept, that’s good. Do I save? Well, as an entrepreneur trying to launch a new business, savings is kind of an alien concept. At the moment I have a global marketing startup. Prior to that, I spent most of my life in advertising and I think that the discipline that I had in saving for 20 or 30 years sort of made my current pursuits possible.

    I always enjoyed a gamble and I had a pretty high tolerance for risk that added another dimension to investing. To say, “Okay, that's a safe investment, but it's a little predictable. Maybe I'm going to take some of my resources and I'm going to be a little bit more aggressive.”

    I think no one wants to imagine that they're going to work until the end of their life. But it's not exactly retirement that I’m planning for, because I can't imagine doing nothing. But it's allowing a little bit more freedom to do more of what I want and less of what I feel like I have to do.

78%
ETF owners
VS.
62%
non-ETF owners

ETF owners are more confident that they have the right approach to meeting financial goals than non-ETF owners.
Source: BlackRock 2016 U.S. ETF Pulse Survey

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