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Most US Generation Zs aged 18–25 do invest, and many began investing before their 18th birthday. Cryptocurrency is often their gateway into the financial markets, and investing apps rank highly as their preferred method of managing investments and making trades. Indeed, the wide dissemination of financial information on social media and online platforms is a key attraction for this growing force of digitally savvy stakeholders.
This research—a collaboration between the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and CFA Institute, executed in partnership with Zeldis Research Associates—examines Gen Zs’ attitudes and behaviors around investing. It is based on data from a November and December 2022 online survey of 2,872 Gen Zs (18–25), Millennials, and Gen Xers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and China. This brief provides insights into Gen Zs with and without investment accounts and makes comparisons between the different age cohorts and geographic regions surveyed.
Other factors attracting Gen Zs to invest are the ability to invest with small amounts, the popularity of cryptocurrency, the fear of missing out (FOMO), and substantial influence and assistance from family members. Gen Z investors are confident in their futures and their ability to reach their financial goals.
For Gen Zs, there seems to be a correlation between gambling and investing—particularly, high-risk investing. In the United States, 61% of surveyed Gen Z investors said they gamble online or in person, compared with 29% of non-investors surveyed. Their propensity for gambling is also associated with riskier investments; 70% of US Gen Z investors who gamble frequently invest in crypto, and 38% invest in non-fungible tokens. For those US Gen Zs aged 18–25 who are not yet investing, barriers are largely related to income and expenses, although lack of knowledge is also a key factor: 42% of non-investors have had no formal education or classes about financial topics or investing, compared with 23% of those who invest.