The Mexican Dream

Ulla Gordillo

The American Dream is a well-researched concept which promises that by hard work everyone will become a happily married homeowner, be better off than their parents having a safe job, retire comfortably, have savings to survive any crises, afford the kids’ education and have a good access to healthcare, but what would be its equivalent for Mexico?

We study the Mexican Dream for young adults, 25 to 35 year old Mexicans, with the objective of developing an understanding of the core values of young Mexican adults reflected in their consumer behavior in the financial sector. The study is made to improve the client base of Expertos Patrimoniales, a Mexican financial investment broker company of young adults also referred to as Generation Y or Millennials.

We use a cross-cultural consumer behavior framework by David Luna, in order to consider factors like culture, and value systems to uncover the Mexican Dream for young Mexican adults. To gather data for this study, six focus group discussions of key informants were carried out in specific areas, such as consumer behavior, futures images and Mexican culture among others. The results suggest that the core drivers of the Mexican Young adults, known as Generation Y, differ from the traditional cultural values in several ways; these results are used to create four images of the future in order to understand the young Mexican adults core drivers for the future:

  • Following the North Americans image describes a future based on the traditional Mexican values updated with a modern twist; where the women is a fulltime never demanding housewife and has full access to the money that her husband earns at work.
  • The Muddling Through image describes a future where the most important aspects of life go wrong, and it represents the Mexican Nightmare.
  • The Telenovela combines positive and negative aspects in an image of the future; the Mexican Dream seems to either last too little or be lacking on some of the most important areas of life.
  • The Going European image strives for a civilized individualism, and in which the young Mexican adults are seen by the Mexican society as rebellious and going against traditional values.

These scenarios have been mainly used by Expertos Patrimoniales to search for fitting investment options for the Millennials or Generation Y Mexicans, in order to expand their young adult customer base. In addition, these are useful to profile prospective clients and prepare for a sales meeting on financial services; the diagnostic pre questions made to the prospective clients provides information useful to understand which scenario fits their life and promote suitable investment alternatives.

I personally found both interesting and sad that the Mexican young adults consider, according to the study, the “Following the North American” the ideal future, however think that it is unrealistic and impossible to achieve for which they actively follow a path towards a, according to them ,“realistic future”, which is a variation of one of the three other scenarios.

Writer Ulla Gordillo graduated from FFRC’s Master’s Degree Programme in Futures Studies in 2015. She currently works as Marketing Director for Expertos Patrimoniales – Wealth Management Advisors in Mexico.

Research was done in collaboration between Expertos Patrimoniales and Finland Futures Research Centre. Read more from the article: Kontio, Ulla Gordillo & Tapio, Petri (2017) Four Mexican dreams: What will drive the Mexican millennial to invest? Futures, Volume 93, October 2017, Pages 89-101.

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