How are the Different Generations Investing?
What we're seeing
Americans have a wide range of options for opening investment accounts. Traditional brands, like Schwab and Vanguard have been around since accounts were opened using paper applications and trades were made through brokerage house trading desks–“Desk Native.” TD Ameritrade and E*Trade launched when consumers were using their desktop computers to conduct trades (“Desktop Native”). Robinhood, Acorn, and Stash started as apps and allowed consumers to trade using their cellular phones (“App Native”). And, of course, there are alternative investments like cryptocurrency–which are predominantly App Native.
Not surprisingly, different generations of investors have adopted these different generations of investment technology in different ways. Traditional investment brands performed better with older generations where Baby Boomers were more than twice as likely as Millennials to use a Desk Native investment brand. Generation Y was 1.7x more likely to use an App Native option than Baby Boomers.
Interestingly, App Native investment options took the greatest share for all generations.
Takeaway & Call to action for FIs
While generations adopt technology at different rates and on preferred channels, investment apps were the most popular option for all generations. Financial institutions can gain knowledge about their account holders’ fiscal life cycle by knowing how they are transacting and where.