Just over a quarter of millennials -- the age group of 18- to 29-year-olds -- reported owning stock in a Gallup poll taken last month, down from the 33 percent of that age bracket who told pollsters they had money in the market in 2008.

 

Bloomberg reports that investment advisers theorize that millennials have been scarred by the 2008 market crash and resulting recession. As a result, they are stashing their money in savings accounts that pay nearly no interest instead of taking advantage of a rising stock market.

 

"We call them Recession Babies," William Finnegan, a senior managing director at MFS Investment Management in Boston, said in the article. Finnegan compared it to "Depression Babies" who avoided banks and investing after the 1929 crash.

 

About 46 percent of millennials with more than $100,000 to invest say they will never be comfortable in the stock market, MFS, with $423 billion under management globally, found in a survey released in February. About 52 percent of 22- to 32-year-olds said they are "not very confident" or "not at all confident" putting money in equities for retirement, according to a February 2013 survey by Wells Fargo & Co.

 

In contrast, among 30- to 49-year-olds -- a group that includes most of Generation X and the oldest millennials -- about 67 percent hold stocks this year, up from 58 percent in 2013, according to the Bloomberg article.

 

Avoiding the stock market, though, means millennials are missing out as major indexes reach records, potentially imperiling their future financial security, especially at a time when these Americans are also shunning investments such as real estate.