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Hewison Private Wealth - Insights
Hewison Insights

Talkin’ bout my generation

Alexi Guagas
Senior Associate Adviser
5 May 2022

If you had a choice between;

being born in a very large generation, with many people the same age as you,


 a small generation, with not many people in your age group.

Which would you choose?

The conventional response is to choose the common-sense answer – the smaller generation. You would assume life would be easier, having fewer competitors in the job market and fewer competitors in the housing market. This is the argument the ‘classic’ demographers would use. Modern society indicates however, the opposite to be true. Being born in a large generation is more advantageous than being born in the smaller generation.

A large generation of people moving through life together can have its advantages including spending power – more consumers shaping markets together, and voting power – more consumer preferences, where governments shape welfare and tax systems around the generation to appease the larger voting bloc.

The Baby Boomer generation (1945-1965) for example, born in the twenty years following World War II, have been a defining force in the twentieth and twenty-first century. Coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s, they were on the forefront of social change including the protests against the Vietnam War and the second wave of the feminist movement. These movements gained momentum with the sheer size and force of the common voice of the Baby Boomers. The common voice with shared concerns and life experiences powered great influence on culture.

From cultural influence to market power, the Baby Boomers moving through life together, have seen the benefit of collectivism. From post-World War II to modern day the Baby Boomers have witnessed the rise and fall of markets and economic reform, with one market unequivocally benefiting the Baby Boomers – the housing market. With housing prices booming (pardon the pun) this generation’s asset position is strong, with many Baby Boomers having enough assets and wealth to retire comfortably. Did their voting power influence this, or was it plain luck?

Influence or plain luck aside the Baby Boomers are proof that moving through life as a generation with a common voice and favourable circumstances can be advantageous and incredibly rewarding.

One thing is certain, the legacy of the Baby Boomers cannot be underestimated – in the coming years they will partake in the greatest inter-generational wealth transfer in modern history.