Billionaire Warren Buffett's investment strategies have proved successful for largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) for many decades, and his concepts can teach Millennial traders long-term tactics.
While Millennial investors have several decades to save for their retirement, learning the patience that Buffett exudes in his trading strategies can go a long way. Patience is most likely his strongest trait and one that has boosted his returns in his portfolios.
Investing in the market needs to be a marathon and not a sprint, said Robert Johnson, president of The American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
"Buffett once said, 'Our favorite holding period is forever,' and he lives by that motto," he said.
"Investments is about buying good companies at an attractive price and being patient," Johnson said. "Investing is not about flipping stocks."
More than 75 million Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1997, are ready to take over an estimated $30 trillion in wealth from baby boomers, according to the Pew Research Center.
Millennials faithfully follow Buffett's "only invest in something they can understand" strategy, said K.C. Ma, a CFA and director of the Roland George investments program at Stetson University in Deland, Fla. That's why Buffett shied away from technology companies for the most part, aside from buying shares in IBM and Apple.
Since Millennials practically invented the term social media, they avoid all conventional social contact and replace it with media interaction, he said.
"Millennials drive the Model S, text via iPhones, post onto Instagram, chat with Snap communicate with tweets, ask Google questions and stay home watch movies on Netflix, Ma said. "This is why they invest in Tesla (TSLA) , Facebook (FB) , Snap (SNAP) , Twitter (TWTR) , Google (GOOG) and Netflix (NFLX) ."
Another good strategy is that Millennials follow Buffett's "good management in place" philosophy and they "idolize Millennial CEOs, they believe in Elon Musk's promises, Mark Zuckerberg's vision and Evan Spiegel's entrepreneurship," Ma said. "This is why they invest in Tesla, Facebook, Snap, Twitter, Google, and Netflix."
To follow one of Buffett's investment tenets, "pay an attractive price no more than the intrinsic value." For two out of three Millennials, the first order of the business after the wealth transfer is to fire their parents' financial advisers, Ma said.
"They were all raised in the tech age and they believe everything can be self-taught without human contact," he said. "The bottom line is that Millennials do not want to pay a 1% to 2% fee for something they think they can do it themselves buy simply googling."
While the markets can experience phases of extreme volatility, always sitting on the sidelines is a poor notion to follow.
Taking some risks in investing is much needed, said Johnson. Buffett has also been quoted as saying, "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."
This sentiment means that investors should be willing to take some risk and Millennials tend to be overly cautious when it comes to their asset allocation, he said.
Younger investors often have portfolios with smaller allocations of equities and much higher concentrations of cash. Risk tolerance is actually about the ability and willingness of an investor to bear risk.
"Young people have the ability to bear risk because they have a long time horizon, but they often don't have the willingness to bear risk because of a fear of market downturns," Johnson said. "A recent UBS study showed that Millennials and the World War II generation have similar asset allocations - low allocations to equities and inordinately high allocations to cash. Both generations were shaped by cataclysmic financial events in their formative years."
Buffett took large positions in Bank of New York Mellon in 2010 and in Bank of America (BAC) in 2011 when financial stocks were widely out of favor.
"He was greedy, when others were fearful," Johnson said.