Gen Z Prefers Crypto over Stocks, a Major Shift in Investment Trends

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A recent survey indicates a significant generational divergence in investment preferences, with Gen Z Americans displaying a greater inclination towards digital assets over traditional stocks, reflecting a broader shift in financial strategies.

Conducted from October 16 to 19, 2023 and unveiled by the Policygenius Financial Planning Survey on April 9, the study engaged 4,063 adult respondents across the United States.

Gen Z and Crypto

Interestingly, it was discovered that 20% of Gen Zers (ages 18-26) and 22% of millennials (ages 27 to 42) exhibit a marked preference for alternative assets like cryptocurrencies and non fungible tokens (NFTs). 

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This depicts a clear picture of younger generations diversifying their investment portfolios beyond traditional stocks and real estate. Notably, only 18% of Gen Z respondents disclosed owning stocks, in contrast to 28% of Gen Xers and 45% of Baby Boomers.

Policygenius analyst Myles Ma commented on this trend, noting, “Younger generations store their wealth differently than their Gen X and boomer counterparts, including novel investments like cryptocurrency.

“This could show a bigger willingness to take risks with their money, but it could also reflect obstacles they can’t control, like the growing housing shortage,” he adds.

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Reliance on Social Media

Moreover, the survey highlighted a distinct reliance on social media platforms for financial queries, with 9% of Gen Z and 8% of millennials indicating a propensity to seek financial advice through social channels, a significant contrast to Gen X (3%) and Baby Boomers (1%).

A Shift in Financial Attitude of Gen Z

Beyond the cryptocurrency focus, the survey underscores the financial attitudes of young investors, who express a sense of pride in their financial management skills, despite the complexities of contemporary financial landscapes.

This inclination towards proactive financial literacy highlights a broader trend among younger Americans towards financial independence. Previous studies have reinforced this narrative, revealing consistently high cryptocurrency adoption rates among Gen Z and Millennials.

In April 2023, a Bitget study unveiled that 46% of millennials across major economies, including the U.S., China, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, and Nigeria, are cryptocurrency owners.

Retirement Funds in Crypto

Further corroborating this trend, a Charles Schwab survey from October 2022 indicated that approximately 50% of Gen Z and Millennials expressed a desire to allocate their retirement funds towards digital assets. Additionally, 43% of Gen Z and 47% of Millennials reported already investing in cryptocurrencies outside their 401(k) retirement plans.

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