Do You Venmo?

Once upon a time a few days ago, some olds — people who were in their 30s — had (and then published) an inter-office online chat with some youngs — people who were in their 20s on the subject of Venmo, the app whose primary purpose is to facilitate bill paying among friends. It has a social component too, though, which is what shocked the olds.

The youngs tried to explain to the olds why Venmo was convenient and fun. The olds pointed out that if you rearrange the letters the app’s name becomes, appropriately, Venom. The young expressed polite skepticism that the app actually intended to poison them. The olds exploded.

heatherlandy 11:52 AM omg, it’s not bad enough that i have to know that the girl i used to sit next to in social studies just took her 4-year-old to the dentist, now i have to know that one of you paid your roommate for the phone bill??? people, you are just GIVING your privacy away! about sensitive things like money! we all need to have a big talk soon… 

Which side of Venmo divide do you fall on, dear readers? I’m in No Man’s Land: I have no philosophical problem with the app but I don’t use it, either. Do you find it entertaining or horrifying how blase certain people are about sharing financial info with their friends?

Note: I was tempted to title this “Venmo Venmo Venmo,” in homage to the Simpsons episode “Krusty Gets Cancelled” where there’s all this mysterious advertising for “GABBO GABBO GABBO” but that might be too esoteric. It would be, right? Yeah.

Millennials All For Socialism, Don’t Know What It Means

According to new research, millennials like, dislike everything. Some of the things they think they like, they simply don’t understand, like socialism: “Only 16% of millennials can accurately define socialism, making it less surprising that up to 42% prefer socialism and 52% favor capitalism.”

Possible definitions of socialism, according to the millennials surveyed: 1) soft-serve ice cream; 2) kittens playing in a box; 3) rain that only falls at night; 4) small, affordable cities with good weather, a cultural scene, public transportation, and available jobs; 5) teleportation.

Anyway, who really knows how to define socialism vs. capitalism? If we pop quizzed you, would you satisfy the test-takers? What’d you get on your Socialism AP Test, huh, smart guy?

Here are some more awesome results

What Happens to a Dream NOT Deferred, But Found Wanting?

American poet Langston Hughes famously asked, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” These days, some of us become fortunate enough to see the other side of the quandary: What happens when you achieve your dream, and then you wish you hadn’t? The Wall Street Journal investigates:

It’s a surprisingly common dilemma. The idea of a “dream job” is drilled into job seekers these days. Increasingly, people expect to find jobs that provide not only a living but also stimulation, emotional fulfillment and a sense of purpose. The image of a career as a source of passion is promoted by career advisers, self-help books and even the glamorous characters in TV dramas. But fantasies about a job can blind job-seekers to workaday realities and to consideration of the best fit.

Millennials Find Confidence in Embracing the Void

Peter Coy at Businessweek wonders why we're so optimistic when we have nothing to be optimistic about. Good question. Is it, "the timeless confidence of youth"? Our "digital lives" (heh)?

How to Be a Boss Boss

Hold onto your hats! Millennials are taking over, which means that people from other generations are going to have to stop bitching about the youngs for a second and figure out how to welcome their new corporate overlords. Time has some suggestions:

“Determine how your millennial boss prefers to communicate,” Dorsey says. For instance, maybe they hardly ever check voicemail, but they might be quick to respond via online chat or text message. Be prepared to hustle. “The day-to-day work at a Generation Y–led business is very intense and fast,” says Arvind Jay Dixit, CEO and founder of social-media platform Bubblews. Be flexible — you might be expected to jump into a variety of roles and do a wide variety of tasks, Dixit says. It might sound daunting, but it can pay real dividends for your career. “This keeps workers on their toes and motivated because they feel they have power to be able to influence decisions and strategy across the board,” he says. Sharpen your social (media) skills. “Millennials expect to build a brand on various social platforms and be ‘liked’ in volume,” says Michelle Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer at McAfee Inc. Since before they were teenagers, millennials have been expressing themselves online and are used to a constant flow of information and communication, she says. Don’t try to be their BFF. “What we see is that employees struggle more in a job as they become friends with a millennial boss outside of work,” Dorsey says. “Keeping it professional is the way to keep the job.” Keep your tech skills up to snuff. “Millennial small-business owners tend to be very technologically savvy and open to digital tools and innovation that will help their business succeed,” says Keri Gohman, head of small-business banking at Capital One.

Have you gotten to be a #GIRLBOSS? What are your tips for having non-millennials — who still expect to do things like, ugh, make phone calls — as employees? Or alternatively I guess how do you like dealing with millennials as your employers?

Millennials and Tiny Houses: A Match Made in Heaven

What does it mean when the top mortgage salesman in the US can’t convince his own daughter to buy a house?

“We would drive around neighborhoods and he would point out houses,” chattering about curb appeal and prices, Sara said. “I’ve heard about this my whole life. In my head, I always figured at the age of 27 or 28 I’d buy.” She can, but hasn’t. She’s a legislative aide to Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat. Her fiancé, Dan Nee, is a software developer. Their jobs are steady and their combined income is $107,500. The car is paid for and dad is ready to help with a down payment. … [but] “A house is a five- to 10-year commitment,” Sara said. “I’m hesitant about diving in and feeling like I’m not financially ready.”

She and other millennials — the generation born beginning in the early 1980s — started coming of age just as housing collapsed. Sara was just out of college in 2009 when President Barack Obama put her dad in charge of the Federal Housing Administration. Part of his job was to lobby Congress not to dismantle the financial architecture that had made it possible for generations of Americans — including himself — to buy homes. He also was juggling pleas from family and friends who couldn’t pay their adjustable-rate mortgages or sell their devalued houses.

It means she’s a bloody genius, that’s what it means.

What’s ENTAILED In Making a Will? (Get it? “Entailed”?)

All right, kiddos! It’s time for Part II of the conversation begun last week about estate planning for millennials, wherein we find a lighthearted way to talk about money and death. There should be a Schoolhouse Rock! cartoon on the subject. Unfortunately the show went off the air before it could find a catchy way to address the importance of bequeathing your earthly possessions and making provision for your dependents and heirs, so we’ll have to make do the best we can. Let’s start at the top.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY: What is a will exactly? Is it different from a Living Will? Is there such a thing as an Unliving, Unleavened, or Zombie Will? Do we still “entail” things, like they do on “Downton Abbey“? What if we’ve got nothing to leave but debt and a questionable browser history?

Millennials & Diversity

Alert: the current issue of Pacific Standard includes a thoughtful piece about millennials and diversity from beloved journalist Michael Dang (!). In "This Millennial Story is Different" Mike points out that when we're talking about a generation that is, according to a Pew Research Report, “the most ethnically and racially diverse cohort of youth in the nation’s history," it's ridiculous to keep on coming back to the same old broad-sweeping narrative.

Millennial “Earnings Hangovers” And How to Fight Them

We all know how to treat a regular hangover: drink! No, silly, not more Smirnoff Ice, aka, the hair of the dog that bit you; lots of water or soda water, juice, and coffee. Sprite. Pedialyte. Eating can help, although I’ve heard arguments both for and against fatty foods. Ibuprofen (not Tylenol, which, like liquor and/or in combination with it, can damage your liver). Waiting. But how does one deal with the earnings hangover that one did not bring on oneself by partying but simply by graduating at the wrong time?

Students entering the job market in 2010 and 2011 took a 19 percent pay cut from what they could have expected without a recession, according to economists at Yale University in New HavenConnecticut – about double the penalty in prior downturns. … That reality is haunting a segment of millennials, the 82 million people born between 1981 and about 2000. Full-time 25-to 34-year-old workers saw income erode to a median of $38,000 in 2012 from $38,760 in 2007, based on National Center for Education Statistics data. Salaries for bachelor’s degree-or-higher grads fell to $49,950 from $52,990 in 2007.

It gets … not better:

The Woman Behind #GIRLBOSS

Nasty Gal’s LA headquarters is a dog-friendly office with a yoga room and estrogen galore: According to NYMag’s profile of CEO Sophia Amoruso on the Cut, “More than three-quarters of Nasty Gal’s 300 employees … are women.” Together, they are #LivingTheDream:

The space is an upgrade for Amoruso, whose online fashion retail business got its start in a rented pool house in 2006. Seven years later, Nasty Gal had picked up $49 million in funding from Index Ventures, a firm known for its e-commerce track record, and now the company is doing upwards of $100 million in annual sales and selling to customers in 150 countries. Within a year, it plans to open its first brick-and-mortar store in Los Angeles and expand from clothing and shoes into home goods. And in early May, Amoruso herself began infiltrating bookshelves with #GIRLBOSS, a hybrid business bible and memoir. The hashtag is part of the title. It was Amoruso’s idea.

The profile describes Amoruso as an hipper, edgier, millennial answer to Sheryl Sandberg:

Whatever you think of Sandberg’s corporate feminism, the misstep [her ridiculed "Ban Bossy" campaign] scooped out a wide-open spot for someone different to come along—someone without a billion dollars, a bulletproof résumé, a perfect husband, and a roster of friends in high places. The cover of Lean In shows Sandberg relaxed and radiant in a white sweater, chin resting on palm. #GIRLBOSS has Amoruso in a tight black dress and spiky necklace, fists balled against her hips. One of her eyebrows is arched, villainess style. She looks like a person with intimidating sexual preferences.

At 30, she is opinionated (“I think it’s okay to call girls girls. And I think it’s okay to call girls bossy”), self-made, and savvy: when she started selling vintage clothes on eBay, “she recruited models off MySpace, paid them in hamburgers, and analyzed their conversion rates to see which ones were most effective.” Someday, she will be your daughter’s college commencement speaker. In the meantime, she has plenty of professional wisdom to impart:

Millennials Apparently Good With Money

TIME reports that a new survey shows that Millennials are good with their money—recognizing that they need to save and become better with their money.

One of the financial virtues of this group appears to be a slow and steady approach to building a nest egg. Roughly a third favor a long-term tried-and-true strategy, Northwestern Mutual found. Another third would like to take that approach but feel like they are too far behind to play it safe.

Millennials’ cautiousness may be a double-edged sword. Just 14% in the survey say they are pursuing a high-growth investment strategy even though such a strategy would promise superior long-term returns. This may be a case of playing it too safe. Millennials have 40 years to ride out any bumps. If their money is socked away in savings bonds and other ultra-conservative investments it won’t grow fast enough for them to retire even over a long period of time. Now is when they should embrace prudent, low-cost, diversified risk through stock index funds and similar investments.

What makes the Millennial generation so thoughtful about money?