There is considerable analysis and commentary focused on the impact of the ageing population and how investors can gain exposure to this trend. Yet another important, albeit less referenced investment theme, is the rise of Generation Y. Accounting for almost a third of the global population, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch this generation is emerging as the greatest source of income, wealth and spending worldwide. To capitalise on the growing economic and financial significance of this generation, it is instructive to understand its distinctive characteristics and the implications for investors and business.