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SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions Pulse: Gen Z and Stock Trading

SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions Pulse: Gen Z and Stock Trading

Gen Zers least likely among generations to invest 

Nearly half (48%) of all adults invest in stocks, mutual funds, or cryptocurrencies, but differences emerge between generations.

  • Gen Zers* are least likely to participate in investing: 36% of Gen Zers currently have investments, compared with 45% of Millennials and roughly half of Gen Xers (50%) and Boomers (52%).
  • Less than one in five (18%) teenagers say they are currently invested in stocks or mutual funds, far behind all other age groups. However, enthusiasm is high: close to half (46%) express interest in trading stocks or making investments themselves.
  • Younger generations also have the least amount of money invested. 52% of Gen Zers have $1,000 or less in their investments, while more than half of Boomers (62%) and the Silent Generation (59%) have investments exceeding $100,000.

Robinhood most popular among Gen Z and Millennials, while Fidelity leads among older Americans

Overall, Fidelity is the most popular investment and trading platform, with nearly a quarter (23%) of investors using the platform, followed closely by Robinhood (20%). 

  • Robinhood is overwhelmingly the platform of choice among Gen Z (32%) and Millenials (40%), and Coinbase also rises to the top (17% and 24% respectively). Fidelity trails both platforms among Gen Zers, being used by only 10% of this age cohort.
  • Fidelity, however, leads among Gen X (29%), Boomers (26%) and parents of teenagers (31%).

Two in five (39%) of Gen Zers use platforms that do not charge account fees or trade commissions, while only slightly more than a quarter (28%) use one that does. 

  • Other generations display a similar preference, although a larger proportion (35%) of Millennials choose to use paid platforms.
  • Parents of teens especially prefer to not pay fees or commissions, with 43% choosing to use a fee-free platform, compared with 37% of non-parents.

Younger investors more active with their investments

Although long-term investment strategies are by far most favored among investors, younger Americans are more involved in their investments, more frequently checking their investments and more likely to participate in day trading of stocks and options trading.

  • More than a quarter (28%) of all investors check their investments every day, and most prefer to do less frequently at “a few times a month” (39%) or “a few times a year” (26%).
  • About 40% of Gen Zers and Millennials check their investments everyday, while only about 20% Gen Xers and Boomers conduct daily check-ins.

Long-term investments are most common among investors: nearly two-thirds (62%) have long term investments in individual stocks, followed by passive long-term investments (41%). Less than one in five (16%) participate in day trading, and even fewer (9%) in options trading.

  • Younger Americans are more likely to participate in active investing, with about a quarter of Gen Zers (24%) and Millennials (26%) saying they participate in day trading of stocks, compared with only 15% of Gen Xers and 7% of Boomers.

Stock Market Participation by Generation

In the next three months, about half of Gen Z (51%) and Millennial (52%) investors plan on increasing their level of investments, whereas the majority of Gen X (56%) and Boomers (73%) plan to keep their level of investment the same. 

  • The energy and information technology industries stand out in attracting investment. More than one in three (35%) investors express interest in investing in the energy and information (IT) industries, followed by health care (27%) and real estate (25%). 
  • Energy and information technology remain the top industries across all generations.

Younger investors rely on family for investment advice

When in need of investment advice, the majority (54%) defer to a financial advisor, trailed far behind by news reporting and opinions (16%) and family (14%). Only a small minority (7%) look to friends and social media (5%).

  • Reliance on a financial advisor, however, increases with age: only 32% of Gen Zers trust their financial advisor the most for investment advice, with a greater number (38%) deferring to family. 
  • Boomers, on the other hand, overwhelmingly (67%) trust their financial advisor.

* Generation age categories: 
Gen Z: 24 and under
Millennials: 25-40
Gen X: 41-56
Boomers: 57-75
Silent: 76+  

Read more about our polling methodology here.