Good-bye babyboomers, good-buy Generation Y?

September 8, 2009

London’s premier department store Selfridges has already opened a Christmas shop with festive decorations and accessories (Christmas comes 141 days early), so it is no surprise that some fund managers are already looking ahead for next year onwards.

David Miller, head of alternative investment at Cheviot Asset Management, thinks investment in the period 2010-2012 will be driven by the impact of demographic trends, such as Generation Y — those born since 1978, all of whom grew up with the Internet.

However, as far as investment markets are concerned Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are still in the driving seat both as spenders and savers.

“Their priorities will continue to drive markets for a few more years yet,” he says.

Miller thinks the risk-free rate of return will remain close to zero while governments will underwrite corporate risk for as long as they can afford to and will do nothing to disturb the recovery, which would keep interest rates low for years rather than months.

In the UK, many companies will find it hard to increase profits and those that do will command a higher premium than at present, while dividend-paying companies (such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Vodafone) will be in greater demand.

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