TIME Environment

Wal-Mart Could Make Organic Food Cheap—and Eventually, Plentiful

Customers enter a Wal-Mart store on Feb. 20, 2014 in San Lorenzo, Calif.
Customers enter a Wal-Mart store on Feb. 20, 2014 in San Lorenzo, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

The retail giant says it will sell some organic products at 25% below what its competitors cost. That's good for the organic market

If you still think organic food is something for hippies and vegans—and best of all, hippie vegans, though that might be redundant—it’s time to update your cultural stereotypes. This morning Wal-Mart announced that it would begin carrying products from the Wild Oats organic line—and that it would offer the goods at prices that are at least 25% cheaper than their organic competitors. Wal-Mart, the Bentonville behemoth that became the biggest retailer in the world by ruthlessly lowering prices, wants to make organic food cheap. And that could make the organic food market go supernova. “If we can make the price premium disappear, we think it will grow much, much faster,” Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Wal-Mart U.S., told reporters.

Organic has already been growing rapidly. Though the category still accounted for just 4% of total U.S. food sales at the beginning of 2012, organic sales rose to 10.2% that year, or $29 billion. A decade earlier, organic sales were just $8 billion. And this rapid growth is occurring even as sales at traditional supermarkets have been slumping. A wide swath of customers are switching to organic food when they can, and chances are even more would make the move if they could afford it: internal research at Wal-Mart found that 91% of its customers would buy “affordable” organic products if they were available. Over at Fortune magazine—another Time Inc. title—the editors are hailing the organic star Whole Foods on the cover of their latest edition:

The Austin-based chain is one of the country’s most successful retailers — its revenue has doubled and profits have tripled since 2007 — defying dismal grocery industry trends by offering consumers a mix of organics, truly delicious prepared foods, and an expanding array of staples under its 365 house brand. Now, having conquered affluent suburbs and trendy urban areas, Whole Foods is out to win over the rest of America.

In the short term, Wal-Mart’s move—which for now will be confined to staples like olive oil and tomato paste—could actually raise prices for some organic foods. That’s because the demand for organics has been outpacing the supply —this year there’s been a shortage of organic milk in many places, and organic egg production has dropped even as demand has increased because the price of the organic feed needed for the hens that lay the eggs has skyrocketed. (The example of milk is instructive: sales of whole organic milk nationwide increased 17% from January through October 2011, compared with the same period in 2010—even as sales of conventional milk over those months fell by 2%.) Under U.S. Agricultural Department rules, it also takes at least three years for farmers to switch from conventional crops to organic ones, so there will likely be a lag.

Still Wal-Mart’s unique, um, talent for getting suppliers to do what it wants will likely ensure that organic supply will rise to meet that growing demand over time, at prices that are less than what consumers have been accustomed to paying. The cognitive dissonance is inevitable—for the hardest-core of organic shoppers, the ones who long ago turned away from conventional groceries because of health and environmental fears, Wal-Mart is up there with Monsanto as a symbol of all that is is evil in the food world. But Wal-Mart has actually been selling organic products for years with a lot of success. And just as the company’s adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy—while not without problems—has helped push those technologies towards the mainstream, Wal-Mart’s embrace of cheap organic could have a major impact on the American diet and farming. Scale is a hell of a thing.

TIME Technology & Media

Rupert Murdoch Talks Ex-Wife, the MySpace Blunder, and His 2016 Presidential Pick

2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Arrivals
C Flanigan—WireImage

In a wide-ranging interview with Fortune, the media mogul talks extensively about social media, and concedes News Corp.'s decision to not hire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a mistake. He also talks about his ex-wife and presidential pick for 2016

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Fortune magazine, his first extended press interview since 2009. He had a busy 2013, spinning off Wall Street Journal parent News Corp. from his entertainment division 21st Century fox and divorcing Wendi Deng, his wife of thirteen years. He touched on these topics and more in this interview as he looked toward the future of his media empire.

On the topic of Deng, Murdoch said he was “shocked” to learn that she had allegedly kept diary entries about other men during their marriage, according to a March article in Vanity Fair. “I wish we could have just got divorced quietly,” he said.

Murdoch, who got his start in the newspaper business, is still bullish on the future of news and is rapidly expanding digital efforts at this various publications. “Print is going through a tough time. There’s got to be a lot of money spent on digitizing everything. You’ve got to keep improving and competing in a new world, as well as keeping your old world going. So to have some spare cash gives you a lot of security.” He posited that the New York Post could be online only within five to ten years, while he expects the Wall Street Journal to remain in print for at least 20 years.

Murdoch also talked extensively about social media. He called News Corp.’s handling of MySpace, which it bought for $580 million in 2005, “one of our greatest screw-ups of all time.” He said he regrets not hiring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who was “all for” becoming part of News Corp. when he visited Murdoch’s ranch around the time of the MySpace buy. Today Murdoch doubts that Facebook will be able to maintain its sky-high valuation in the long-term, but he’s an avid social media user, especially Twitter. “My family are horrified that I’m on it,” he said.

Talking politics, Murdoch said Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan are his ideal 2016 Presidential candidates. He called Ryan “the straightest arrow” that he’d ever met. “He’s hardworking. He knows where every dollar goes in Washington. He’s emerging as the natural leader.” Murdoch said Bush had been a great governor in Florida and he liked his policy on education.

Read more of the in-depth interview on Fortune’s website.

TIME Business of Sports

$300 for a Jersey? NFL Fan Gear Just Got More Expensive

A large display by NIKE at Macy's in New York City, New York on Feb. 1, 2014.
A large display by NIKE at Macy's in New York City, New York on Feb. 1, 2014. Scott Boehm—AP

Nike, the official brand for NFL team uniforms, is increasing the prices for its higher-end jerseys. Fans will have to hand over $150 for a "Limited" jersey and $295 for an “Elite” jersey. Nike had no comment as to why prices went up

Football fans may have to start taking out loans to demonstrate support for their teams.

If you think the NFL is greedy and takes advantage of fan loyalty at every opportunity, what with franchises charging full price for (meaningless) preseason games and hitting season ticketholders with ridiculous mandatory “seat fees” just for the privilege of buying one’s tickets, add this to your list of grievances. In 2012, Nike became the official brand for team uniforms—and replica jerseys sold to fans—taking over for Reebok. Prices for jerseys sold to fans went up immediately, with the cheapest official team jerseys rising from $85 to $100.

Two years later, prices are going up again. While the low-end official NFL jersey made by Nike remains at $100, the two premier levels of jerseys will hit new heights. The “Limited” jersey, billed as “one step closer to mimicking the team’s on-field jersey through the application of embroidery as well as tackle-twill numbering and lettering,” and priced at $135 in 2012, will now run $150. And the top-of-the-line “Elite” jersey, pumped up as having the “same level of innovation that the athletes wear on the field” what with “zoned stretch fabric tailored for precise fit and movement, water-repelling fabric” and such, will have a retail price of $295, up from $250.

In a post at ESPN.com, a Nike spokesperson highlighted the fact that there were three distinct price points to suit the needs (and budgets) of a variety of fans, but had no comment as to why prices went up at the higher end. Matt Powell, an analyst for the sports marketing firm SportsOneSource, offered the simple, obvious explanation for Nike’s move: “When you have a monopoly, you can charge whatever you want.”

TIME

Here Are the Absolute Best (and Worst) Jobs of the Future

It hits everyone eventually. Whether it’s two years into a sketch comedy program or after a half-decade bet on a failed food truck business. At some point, it’s time to get serious about a lifelong career.

We looked at data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to pick the industries most likely to grow (and die) over the next ten years. Here’s what we found:

Top Growth Industries

If you just look at raw percentages—that is, the percent the government expects industries to grow from 2012 to 2022—you’ve got a future in any of the above fields.

Topping the list is industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists, the most business-minded of the various psychology career tracks. While the broader psychology field will likely grow marginally, Uncle Sam forecasts careers for I-O psychology professionals to grow by over 50% over the next decade. The key here is that I-O psychology focuses on the workplace—optimizing teamwork, satisfaction, and employee well-being.

Personal care and home health aides should also see near 50% growth, while insulation workers and translators can expect to see gains in the mid-40s.

Highest Paid Careers

Still, none of the above jobs are particularly high-paying. If you want some serious cash (and you’re still young enough for a decade of medical school), set your professional sights on these top-dollar careers:

Each of the above jobs report median wages north of $185,000, the highest figures in the study. Don’t have the stomach (or money, or time, or test scores) for medicine? Consider becoming a chief executive (median salary: $168,140), petroleum engineer ($130,280), or air traffic controller ($122,530).

Top Growth Industries with Lots of Jobs and Decent Pay

Let’s go a level deeper. While it’s nice to know which industries are growing and which others pay a handsome salary, you’d ideally want a combination of promising factors: growth, good pay, and millions of openings.

Data-driven marketers—like market research analysts and marketing specialists—make a respectable $60,300 per year, and the industry will likely grow over 30 percent by 2022. Better yet, that’s 30 percent growth in a gigantic industry, an increase of 1.3 million new positions over the next decade.

Unsurprisingly, technical jobs like computer systems analysts and application software developers will see significant gains over the next decade as well (with median salaries in the $80,000 to $90,000 range). Nursing also promises to grow nearly 20 percent, which translates to over 5.2 million new RNs.

The biggest surprise, however, is construction supervisors, a $59,700 per year career forecasted to grow by nearly 1.3 million jobs by 2022. Even with recent struggles, construction is still a critical profession with good growth prospects.

Other notable careers in this category include accountants and auditors ($63,550) and elementary school teachers ($53,400), each predicted to add roughly 1.7 million new jobs.

Worst Industries

It’s not all good news. The following industries not only provide low pay, but will be declining significantly over the next 10 years.

Other notable gloomy careers include door-to-door sales workers and just about any career with “U.S. Postal Service” in its title. Despite $50,000+ median salaries, U.S. Postal Service clerks, carriers, and sorters will likely all see losses in the hundreds of thousands over the next decade.

TIME

Sam Palmisano’s Advice to Younger Tech Titans: Don’t Show Up to Davos in a Hoodie

Dell & IBM CEOs On Technology, Innovation, and Deficit Reduction
Samuel "Sam" Palmisano, former chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM). Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

IBM has been, in many ways, the Teflon tech company. At a time when big Silicon Valley firms like Apple, Google, Yahoo and others have been under fire for everything from tax avoidance, to offshoring, to playing fast and loose with privacy, the 101 year old Armonk, NY giant has managed to look like the model for socially responsible business. It has garnered good press for everything from its educational initiatives, to its support for local supply chains in the U.S. Its Smarter Cities initiative, in which it works with local leaders to knit together public transport, economic development, energy, and digital strategies is another example of how the company deftly manages to bridge the global/local divide.

A good chunk of the credit for this goes to former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, who led the company between 2003 and 2011, during which time it achieved record performance, in part by successfully shifting its business model from hardware to services, but also for connecting social goals in areas like education, health and safety with revenue building, under the “Smarter Planet” strategy. Basically, IBM figured out not only how to make money serving local governments by building out city infrastructure, providing products and services in schools, hospitals and elsewhere, but how to avoid some of the globalization backlash that typically plagues big tech companies with fat margins and multinational reach.

I’ve always been interested in how the company pulled all this rare feat off. That story is one of the things that Palmisano is touting in his new eBook, Re-Think: A Path to the Future, which is meant to be a roadmap for how to build a 21st century multinational. The title is unsexy, and, truth be told, so is much of the book itself. But Palmisano, who is now a director at the Center for Global Enterprise (which aims to research and roadmap the practices of the most successful and sustainable firms around the world, from family owned businesses in Germany to American blue chip multinationals) does have some interesting insights and old school corporate wisdom that the younger generation of Silicon Valley techies, as well as any number of other corporate leaders, should pay attention to. Below, his five most interesting takeaways:

  1. “Don’t show up to Davos in a hoodie.” That was Palmisano’s tongue in cheek answer to my question about why tech is no longer Teflon. But his point is actually serious. Too many corporate leaders are inward facing, focused mainly on themselves and their own corporate cultures. 21st century leaders are going to be dealing with a much broader range of stakeholders – both public and private – in a bigger array of geographies than ever before. It’s important to reflect and understand those cultures, not just your own.
  2. Localnomics matter. The brilliance of IBM’s Smart Planet strategy is that it’s totally global, but feels local. “To succeed as a globally integrated enterprise today, you have to connect with the local agenda,” says Palmisano. Smart Planet allows IBM to embed its products and services in local schools, sanitation services, hospitals, and power companies. They become a go to player in providing basic public services – thus building trust in local communities.
  3. Cities are more important than countries. They are where over 50% of the world’s population, and most of its money, is. “Life comes together in cities, not in countries,” says Palmisano. IBM builds its business around the biggest and most important ones.
  4. Values can be motivational. When he was faced with the challenge of trying to get a bunch of patent holding IBM engineers who’d spent a lifetime building a PC business to ditch that and come up with a new technology strategy around services, Palmisano issued a challenge: “What can this company do to create a safer and more secure society?” The result, after several years, was Smart Planet. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he threw $100 million in blue-sky money at them to help develop promising ideas.
  5. Which goes to the final point – think long-term and ignore the bankers. When Palmisano realized the company had to evolve or die, back in 2006, he decided to take a radical step and refuse to issue quarterly earnings guidance to the Street. “I knew we had a good plan, but I also knew we needed time to execute it, and it was going to be tough to have the operational flexibility we needed,” with Wall Street analysts watching for an earnings bump every few months. The long-term thinking paid off – two years later the stock soared. Palmisano believes more companies, particularly high performing ones, should make the same decision. “If you are trying to squeeze a few more cents out every quarter, it can be hard to make the best long term decisions.”
TIME broadband

AT&T Aims to Beat Google Fiber in Gigabit Broadband Race

A view shows the AT&T store sign in Broomfield, Colorado
Rick Wilking / REUTERS

North Carolina has become the latest battleground in the competition to bring gigabit Internet speeds to consumers

Four years after Google launched a not-so-subtle campaign to shame U.S. Internet service providers into improving their broadband service, North Carolina has become the latest front in the battle to offer consumers gigabit Internet speeds.

Telecom giant AT&T plans to offer super-fast Internet service to six North Carolina cities at speeds 100 times faster than regular connections, the company announced on Thursday. AT&T’s announcement comes less than two months after Google said that it was considering expanding its gigabit Fiber initiative to the North Carolina communities of Charlotte, Chapel Hill and Raleigh-Durham.

AT&T’s plan to offer gigabit Internet speeds in the Tar Heel state is the latest indication that Google’s effort to push giant Internet providers toward improving their service is working. Last year, Google announced plans to build out gigabit fiber service in Austin, Tex. One day later, AT&T said that it, too, wanted to offer gigabit Internet service in Austin.

AT&T’s North Carolina proposal — which still must be ratified by the six communities involved — comes one year after the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN), a group formed by local municipalities in conjunction with local universities including UNC and Duke, asked for proposals from companies interested in offering gigabit Internet service to communities in the state’s Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions.

“All of the participants in the NCNGN project are encouraged by AT&T’s interest to deliver ultra-fast bandwidth to the Research Triangle and Piedmont regions,” Tracy Futhey, Chair of the NCNGN Steering Committee and Vice President of Information Technology at Duke University, said in a statement.

AT&T appears to have gotten the jump on Google — for now. “AT&T’s proposal is the only one being recommended for approval at this time but our communities remain active in discussions with other vendors,” NCNGN program director Elise Kohn told WRALTechWire.

(MORE: Google Is Making a Major Play to Provide Your Internet)

For years, expanding U.S. broadband service has been a national priority. But despite the fact that U.S. researchers developed the Internet, the U.S. has fallen behind in broadband speeds and penetration compared to other developed countries. A recent study by networking giant Akamai ranked the U.S. eighth in global average connection speeds.

Many large Internet providers have insisted that Americans don’t want or need gigabit broadband service, but that’s starting to change, as cities across the U.S. move aggressively to upgrade their Internet networks to boost economic growth and provide increased opportunity for citizens.

“Obviously Google has been this catalyst for AT&T and others to respond to what they’ve done in Kansas City and Austin,” Jeff Heynen, a Wake Forest-based analyst with Infonetics Research, told the Raleigh-based News & Observer. “Here’s an opportunity really for AT&T and Time Warner to respond and get ahead.”

In Texas, AT&T began rolling out its Austin gigabit offering in December. Google has yet to launch its service, because it is still navigating bureaucratic hurdles and assembling the necessary permits. (Needless to say, AT&T wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of giving Google access to the 20% of Austin utility poles that it owns.) In the meantime, other Austin players including Time Warner Cable and a local firm called Grande Communications, are moving to boost their Internet speeds.

“To be honest, we wouldn’t have launched a 1Gbps service unless we didn’t see it happening in the market,” Matt Murphy, president of Grande Communications, a small Austin cable operator, told CNET. “Google has definitely stirred things up in Austin. And when we saw AT&T and Time Warner Cable answering that threat, we knew we had to do something too in terms of speeds and pricing.”

Like North Carolina, Austin is a prime example of how the prospect of Google’s gigabit entry into the marketplace is prompting competitors to improve their services. That, after all, was a crucial part of Google’s strategy. “Google isn’t even offering service in town yet, and already parts of Austin are getting better broadband,” Stacey Higginbotham, a respected tech reporter at Gigaom and Austin resident, wrote in a recent post. “That’s cool.”

TIME Companies

Icahn Ends His Potentially Bloody War Against eBay

Icahn Enterprises L.P. To Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Closing Bell
Scott Eells—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Carl Icahn is again ending a fight against a tech giant without getting everything he wanted. The activist investor has reached a truce with eBay that will end Icahn’s very public demands that the auction site spin-off its subsidiary PayPal.

Icahn will formally withdraw his proposal that eBay sell off PayPal, which could have set the stage for a proxy war at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in May. He’ll also drop two nominees for the company’s board of directors. eBay will appoint former AT&T CEO David Dorman to its board, per Icahn’s suggestion.

“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with Carl, settling proxy issues and enabling our board and management team to focus our full attention on a goal every shareholder agrees on – growing PayPal and eBay, and delivering sustainable shareholder value,” eBay CEO John Donahoe said in a press release.

Icahn will be privy to private information about eBay’s business if board members or eBay executives choose to disclose it to him, but he has signed a confidentiality agreement promising not to divulge sensitive data to the public. In essence, he will continue his campaign in the boardroom instead of on his website and on CNBC. “I continue to believe that eBay would benefit from the separation of PayPal at some point in the near future and intend to continue to press my case through confidential discussions with the company,” Icahn said in the release. “While John has made no commitments regarding such a separation, he and I have agreed to meet regularly when he is in New York to discuss strategic alternatives.”

The spat between eBay Icahn had grown increasingly vitriolic in recent months. Icahn called eBay the worst-run company he’s ever seen in February, criticizing its 2007 sale of the video chat service Skype. He’s also accused board member and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen of having a conflict of interest in the sale, in which Skype went to an investor group that included Andreessen. eBay has defended its governance practices and said it has no interest in selling PayPal. Andreessen essentially called Icahn a hypocrite in a blog post. Icahn had recently backed off his PayPal spinoff proposal somewhat, instead pivoting to ask for a partial IPO of the company.

This is not the first time Icahn has ended a war in retreat. Last year he purchased billions of dollars worth of Apple stock, then pressured CEO Tim Cook to increase the company’s stock buyback program by $50 billion in order to boost the company’s share price. Cook resisted, and Icahn dropped the proposal in February. The investor claimed a partial victory because Apple began buying more of its own stock after Icahn launched his campaign.

TIME fashion

Holy Taffeta! The Prom Bubble Has Burst

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Getty Images

A new survey by Visa says that American households are spending 14% less on prom than they did last year

The extravagance of prom might be coming to an end. Visa released a national survey Thursday that says Americans will be spending 14% less on the taffeta-heavy rite of passage this year.

Households spent an average of $1,139 on the event last year — from tickets to leopard print upholstered stretch limos — but that figure is dropping to an average of $978 this year. This is consistent with private investment bank Piper Jaffray and Co.’s October report stating that U.S. teens are spending less on clothes and accessories.

But not everyone is opting out of overspending. Visa’s survey, which was conducted via 4,000 phone interviews and released in conjunction with the announcement of a prom budgeting app, found that West Coasters will spend more than in 2013. That increase is evened out, however, by households in the Northeast and South, which are spending 27 and 23 percent less than last year, respectively. The Midwest will spend the least of all the regions at an average of $835.

If this still sounds like a lot to spend on a single night of your teenage years, you can always move to Canada, where frugal households will spend an average of just $723 on prom night, 25% less than their American counterparts.

 

TIME Autos

GM Puts Two Engineers on Paid Leave During Recall Probe

General Motors CEO Mary Barra, recently grilled by lawmakers about a massive recall linked to at least 13 deaths, says the engineers were placed on paid leave as an independent investigation looks into why it took GM so long to announce the recall

Two engineers at GM have been put on paid leave amid an outside investigation into the automaker’s massive recall linked to at least 13 fatalities, CEO Mary Barra said in a statement Thursday.

Barra said the move was an interim step while former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas leads an independent investigation into why the company delayed the recall, CNN Money reports.

The company issued a recall for 2.6 million cars because of a faulty ignition switch that can cause the car to shut off while driving, disabling airbags, power steering and anti-lock breaks. It recently emerged GM knew of the fault as early as 2004, but failed to act.

[CNNMoney]

TIME Financial Education

Your Kids Are Better With Money Than You Are

money
Getty Images

Millennials show some disturbing gaps in knowledge of personal finance. But boomers were no better at that age--they just didn't have so much student debt.

Millennials are on course to be the most educated generation in U.S. history. Looking just at the subset of those aged 25 to 29, one-third hold at least a bachelor’s degree—a higher percentage than the overall adult population. Yet all that studying has given them fewer economic advantages than they might have expected.

With so few good jobs available since the Great Recession, many Millennials experience underemployment the first few years out of college, if not much longer. They also exhibit troubling gaps in their ability to manage their own personal financial affairs.

This isn’t to say that college isn’t worth the expense. I’m not on that bandwagon, even though a strong case may be made against going into debt for a degree. What concerns me most is that such a well-educated generation, shouldering a $1 trillion student-loan nut, doesn’t know more about basic money concepts.

Only 14% of Millennials with a college degree could correctly answer five questions centered on inflation, investments and debt, according to a new analysis of the 2012 National Financial Capability Study by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. About a third correctly answered the three simplest questions designed to measure rudimentary know-how.

Millennials have plenty company in this regard. Boomers haven’t been so great with money either, and are now reaching retirement age at the rate of 10,000 a day with unprecedented levels of debt and little savings. One big difference, though, is that many boomers still enjoy a traditional pension and can expect Social Security to provide a modest safety net until the end of their days. That’s much less likely for Millennials, and boomers didn’t start out with so much student debt either.

College-educated Millennials show encouraging financial aptitude in some areas. They are more aware of what it takes to build a nest egg than other generations, and they’ve done a decent job getting diversified. They are much more likely to have bank accounts, real estate investments, stocks and bonds, and retirement accounts than the general population, the excellence center found. For example, nearly all college-educated Millennials have a checking account (94%) or savings account (85%). About half own real estate. Nearly 40% own stocks, bonds, or mutual funds—a higher rate of investment than the general adult population.

In addition, 63% have at least one employer-sponsored retirement plan and 31% have an IRA or other retirement account that is not employment based—and 82% are making regular retirement savings contributions. These are impressive numbers for a much-maligned generation that appears to take saving and investment more seriously than boomers did at their age.

Still, for many Millennials, high levels of personal debt are a troublesome counterbalancing force. More than half have student loans, and roughly 40% have mortgage debt with about a third of those owing more on their home than they could sell it for. Half carry a credit card balance and about that many say they have trouble meeting their monthly obligations.

One in five has unpaid medical bills and fewer than half have any sort of emergency fund. This group also overuses inefficient financing means such as payday lenders and pawnshops. True to form, college-educated Millennials brim with confidence: 85% say they are good with day-to-day money management—given evidence to the contrary, a sign of overconfidence, the excellence center reports.

So the broad picture of college-educated Millennials is of a group that understands it needs to take money seriously, and demonstrates a willingness to learn and take action, but is struggling to overcome debt, a poor job market and having been thrust into a world without safety nets without much financial education. Millennials would benefit immensely from a financial institution that understands them—and can help with their debt management, the excellence center concludes. It would also be helpful to reach them where they are—on social media platforms—with clear, unbiased financial advice.

We should also leverage Millennials confidence by guiding them toward the best path as opposed to trying to shock them into a particular action. They’ve already shown they are willing. “Millennials do not want to be told what to do,” according to the excellence center analysis. “They want guidance that enables them to determine what is in their best interest and the tools to take action accordingly.”

 

 

 

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