NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) today announced insights from its signature event focused on trends among Millennial and Gen Z investors. The industry panel featured thought leaders from Barron’s, Boys & Girls Club, BlackRock, and E*TRADE.
The panel explored key challenges young investors face, including student loans and other debts, saving for retirement, and knowledge of the markets and investing. The panel also dug into the role social media plays, both as an amplifier of exaggerated wealth and an emerging tool for young investors to learn more. Key insights from the panel discussion include:
- Tech takes center stage in shaping the young investor mindset: The panelists stressed that today’s young investors have behaviors that may differ meaningfully from those of their parents and grandparents. “These are early adopters who tend to be at the cutting edge of the innovation wave,” said BlackRock’s Jeff Spiegel. “They focus on areas in which they are interested in their everyday lives. That could mean investing in Megatrend ETFs focused in areas like self-driving vehicles, cybersecurity, or clean energy. These are things that mean something to young investors, who typically live a tech-forward life.”
- Social media can be a source of financial knowledge: “Social channels provide an astounding level of personalization,” said E*TRADE’s Liensa Vidra. “These channels can sniff out exactly what you’re looking for and serve it up. Young investors are really looking for that kind of personalized information. So, it’s incumbent on our industry to deliver insights and tips in ways that are consumable.”
- Good saving habits exist: “A lot of younger investors don’t have specific financial goals,” said Ms. Vidra. “They’re just looking to grow their money. And that’s the key—giving people the tools to realize that a little now can mean a lot later. The hope is that over time saving will become a trend.” Mr. Spiegel added, “Growing your wealth by micro-saving, or saving a little at a time, can have a meaningful impact over the long-term.”
- But investing misconceptions abound: “Young people often think investing is confusing, but the research they’re doing on, say, Jordan 4 sneakers is not that different than the research you’d conduct on actual companies,” said David Kupecky, Executive Director at Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, Inc. “In many cases, young people are already doing investment research in some form without even realizing it.” He adds, “Money to them is often something that’s just on their phone. It doesn’t feel real. It can be a big hurdle to get them to understand what money is and how to invest it.”
The panelists also offered insights around how to help young investors get started and keep building their nest egg:
- It’s a lot easier than many may think. Gaining exposure to the market is as easy as purchasing a broad market-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), which now trade commission free on major platforms like E*TRADE, making it even easier to start a diversified portfolio.
- Automation can be key. Automatic investing takes out the guesswork. When starting small, automatic investing can help remove the need to make decisions about when and how much to invest and can create consistent investing habits from the start. You can learn more about it here.
- You don’t have to go it alone. While some may want the full-service experience of a financial advisor, managed accounts don’t necessarily have to translate into higher fees. Today, there are robust robo-advice solutions that can help manage a portfolio at historically low price points.
E*TRADE aims to enhance the financial independence of traders and investors through a powerful digital offering and professional guidance. To learn more about E*TRADE trading and investing platforms and tools, visit etrade.com.
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