The bad circumstances (massive student debt, the Great Recession, an, at best, struggling job market, etc.) and the bad wrap (lazy, no resilience, terrible work ethic, etc.) people have handed Millennials are finally beginning to fade. This isn’t to say that everything’s rosy for this 18-36-age group and that dismal wages and piles of student debt have evaporated. It is to say, however, that circumstances are improving a bit and that Millennials themselves are picking up the reins for their financial futures.

One of the key indicators for this picking up the reins analogy is that Millennials are improving their credit. According to the latest SmartAsset Study, Millennials improved their average credit score by 23 points from 2010 (average credit score of 591) to 2017 (average credit score of 614). Such improvement translates into better access to lower mortgage rates and rewards credit cards.

Source: SmartAsset

This increase also translates into Millennials now being 11% of the highest net worth households across the country. Obviously, geographical locations and their specific job markets (Fort Meyers, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, etc.) play into how and why 18-36-age group has made these strides financially. But locations and job markets aren’t the only answers.

What are some of the secrets this 11% Millennial demographic is whispering that are contributing to their budding credit?

1. They are embracing investing and they are willing to risk. This 11% expects investments to gain over time. They tend to invest in cash assets such as hedge funds and private equity. The majority of Millennials who are reluctant to embrace investing are either distrustful and/or lacking in knowledge of the investment process.
2. They tend to invest in assets based upon their core values. According to research done by the Spectrum Group, 45% of the high net worth Millennials wants to use their money to “help” and they do that helping through impact investing.
3. This group of Millennials is weary of credit cards and is less likely to be bogged down by debt. According to a 2013 study by the Schullman Research Center, 67% of high net worth Millennials pay cash for their luxury purchases. Think for a moment about all the cash deals for houses in Silicon Beach, for example.
4. They set financial goals. SmartAsset research indicates that this Millennial group with budding credit is focused on setting and achieving long term financial goals. They tend to believe in and set concrete targets.

Millennials are learning and becoming what all of us need to learn and become…specific…the more specific we are, the easier it is to keep our eyes on both the prize and the price.

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