The two youngest generations of investors – Gen Y (born 1983 to 1993, ages 18–29) and Gen X (born 1967 to 1982, ages 30–45) – distinguished themselves from their elder counterparts in three areas. They check their accounts more; were more likely to learn about investing in school; and, more of them plan to invest additional money in the coming 12 months, according to the 2012 Scottrade Investor Study.
“The increase in mobile connectivity has empowered all investors to monitor real-time market news and act on investment opportunities,” said Kristin Grupas, Scottrade’s assistant director of client education. “The difference is most Gen Y and Gen X investors have an expectation of instant access to their investments and information to direct their strategies.
“At Scottrade, we recognize the value and importance of immediate access to investment education and market news,” Grupas said.
Scottrade’s research found that the majority of Gen Y and Gen X investors, at 69 percent and 77 percent, respectively, check their accounts at least once a week. This engagement continues with online investment research and education. When asked about how they selected their most recent investment, the leading method for both generations was online research.
The majority of both groups also pointed to the Internet as the main source for their financial news and information. Sixty-three percent of Gen Y investors and 69 percent of Gen X investors report getting their financial news and information from their brokerage company website and financial news sites.
Gen Y and Gen X investors stay current on market news with online resources and have a foundation for financial literacy. Significantly more of these younger investors report learning about investing in school, and from family and friends.
“What we’re seeing is investors – particularly Gen Y and Gen X – combining their school-based education with market news awareness. This has led to a new level of engagement with their accounts,” Grupas said. “And the Scottrade study findings imply that with this knowledge and engagement, younger investors are more encouraged and confident in their financial plans to invest more.”
Nearly all Gen Y and Gen X investors – 97 percent and 95 percent, respectively – reported during the past 12 months the value of their portfolios either remained about the same or increased. Given their portfolio performance, the vast majority of Gen Y and Gen X investors are optimistic about future portfolio performance.
When asked about their 12-month investment plan, the majority of Gen Y and Gen X respondents reported intentions to invest additional money, at 78 percent and 68 percent, respectively. The remainder are split between plans to maintain current investment levels and decrease.
Significantly more Gen Y and Gen X investors than older investors think now is the best time to invest and get in on some great deals: 35 percent of Gen Y and 30 percent of Gen X, compared to 13 percent of Baby Boomers and 8 percent of Seniors.
About the 2012 Scottrade American Investor Survey
The study was commissioned by Scottrade and conducted online with members of Survey Sampling Inc.’s SurveySpot consumer panel. Fielded with a nationally representative sample of 1,289 respondents, including 962 investors with at least $500 in investments, between July 23 and August 6, 2012, the study examined attitudes, behaviors and trends related to investing. All participants were at least 18 years of age that were involved in making investment decisions in their households. Margin of error for the overall poll is +/- 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence.
About Scottrade, Inc.
Investors who enjoy online stock trading will find value and personalized customer service at online investing services firm Scottrade, Inc. Founded in 1980, Scottrade enables clients to learn about online trading tools, stock market research and how to buy stocks online, many at just $7 per trade. With more than 500 nationwide branch offices, Scottrade has the largest branch network among online brokerage firms. To learn more about one of FORTUNE® magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” visit about.scottrade.com or www.scottrade.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Member FINRA/SIPC.
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