They're known to be underpaid, laden with student debt, and are either living at home or have a friend who is.
But one investment firm believes the future of Americans currently aged 16-36 is worthy of a long-term investment strategy.
This month, Global X launched a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks millennial purchasing habits now and into the future.
"When you look at the data, you can see how powerful of a force they are going to be as a consumer," Jay Jacobs, Global X's vice president for research, told me. "They're going to make up more than 70% of workforce by 2025, and they are going to inherit trillions, so you have a group of people that are a huge economic force."
"You combine that with the fact that millennials have different consumer preferences, [and] suddenly [there are] companies that we’ve seen well positioned cater to millennials."
And what types of companies are those? Jacobs said the company's research shows that bargain hunting, job searching, and housing, are, for now, the strongest drivers of millennials' spending habits. So here are the companies with the most weight in the index, which has the ticker MILN; they are the companies Global X's research shows are (or will be) most-frequented by millennials. They are subject to annual rotation.
Jacobs agreed that millennials face a lot of headwinds now. But he claimed that one of the key reasons to of invest in MILN is that millennials' earnings are expected to quadruple in the coming years.
"The theme is, it's still early, and there's some upside that hasn’t been priced in," he said.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.