‘Shark Tank’ Star Kevin O’Leary Says Millennials Should Consider Trades

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has some advice for young people trying to gain their financial footing: find a job that pays, put off buying a house, and don’t move back home. O’Leary made the comments in two separate interviews for BNN.

From a financial perspective, finding a job in trades can have a huge financial payoff, according to O’Leary. For the multi-millionaire investor, making money is the most important thing.

“Plumbers can make a lot of money. What matters is a career where you can make cash.”

Jobs that pay less and whose route to entry is fellowships and internships might not lead to greater opportunities because of the competition.

“There’s just too many of them seeking the same jobs. Go to where there’s more demand for your work, which is around the trades.”

According to the Ontario College of Trades, 22 skilled trades require certification. Those include plumbers and electricians. The government of Ontario has services to help potential apprentices choose an appropriate trade, obtain financial aid, and find employment.

O’Leary is in favor of renting before taking a mortgage out on a home. There is no rush, according to O’Leary, for people in their 20s to get into the market, especially when their careers are still in flux. The Shark Tank panelist said he rented for several years before he bought into real estate.

“Why not just go rent a place until you really know and find your legs in terms of what your income’s going to be.”

“I waited till I could afford the first payment and then I rented out the room. I was renting for the first seven years and then I bought a place.”

O’Leary told BNN that he doesn’t expect real estate to appreciate in the next five years, although he does not expect much decline in real estate values. BNN is a Canadian news network, so O’Leary was likely referring to Canadian real estate markets.

For millennials eager to save cash, O’Leary doesn’t recommend moving back in with mom and dad. Furthermore, he encourages parents to take some dramatic steps to make sure they don’t have adult children living at home.

“When your kids go to college, sell your house, move into a one-bedroom condo, so they can’t come back.”

O’Leary and his panel of investors will return with new Shark Tank episodes on ABC in September.

[Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images Entertainment]