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The war on millennials: Why they really do have it harder than you did

By Rob Carrick

This country, and maybe the world, has an empathy problem with regards to young people. There's a striking reluctance to believe that the young adults known as millennials or Generation Y are facing economic challenges that are any different from previous generations. A well-researched investigation by The Guardian, a respected British newspaper, sets us straight. It documents how millennials have been put at a disadvantage by debt, unemployment and high house prices. Compared to seniors, young people are falling behind in income growth.

A while back, I took a shot at documenting how much easier I had it as a young adult than millennials do. Earlier this month, I looked at how expensive housing has affected the finances of Gen Y.

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Here's some advice for millennials who have found some financial stability and are ready to start investing.

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Rob's top web links

Fraud victims aren't dumb – they're human
> March is Fraud Prevention Month, so this is timely stuff, all about how human nature makes us vulnerable to scams, even when we should know better.

Fuel's cheap, so why are flights so expensive?
> It's simple – lack of competition.

Serving the millennial traveller
> Young adults are big on travel, and the Hilton hotel chain has taken notice. It's considering the idea of offering no-frills, affordable hotels for this market.

Five rules for redeeming your Air Miles
> Good advice for people who find they have Air Miles to burn before they start expiring at year's end. The Wednesday edition of the Carrick on Money newsletter had the lowdown on this expiry policy.

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What $133 buys you around the world
> A reminder for travellers that there are places where your dollar goes a lot further. The point of comparison used here is $100 (U.S.) or about $133 Canadian.

Weddings are expensive for guests, too
> Tips here on managing the cost of attending friends' weddings, including clothes, travel and gifts.

Moving your mortgage can cost you
> With a basic mortgage, moving to a different lender on renewal likely won't cost anything. But it's a different story with collateral mortgages, where your house is used as security for a home equity line of credit as well as a mortgage.

Today's featured investment tool

Interest rates are low – we all know that. But returns on high-rate savings accounts are highly competitive. Make sure you're getting the best possible returns on your savings by using this chart.

Ask Rob

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The question: "This is a tough one: When will the resource sector bounce back – or crawl back?"

My reply: The basic answer is that prices for oil and metals will rise in a sustained way when demand is driven higher by economic growth in China and elsewhere. Investors already seem to be anticipating this. For the year through mid-week, the top-performing sector in the S&P/TSX composite index was materials, up almost 20 per cent. Energy was up 4 per cent.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured Video

Where can you find a credit card that doesn't charge foreign exchange fees? A few different options are included here. Background: Most credit cards apply a 2.5-per-cent fee on transactions in foreign currencies. That's in addition to the cost of converting the transaction into Canadian dollars.

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The Globe and Mail Small Business Summit (hashtag #GlobeSBS16 on Twitter) is a one-day conference in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto for small-business owners and managers. Speakers include Harley Finkelstein from Shopify, Bruce Poon Tip from G Adventures, Ryan Holmes from Hootsuite and Vikram Vij. They'll offer insights into the rapidly changing marketplace and the key challenges of securing financing, competing for talent and expanding sales. Further details and ticket information at

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