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Gen Y Investors Start Early, Go Long

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Gen Y investors are making their first investments much earlier than their parents’ generation did, according to a study released Monday by TD Investor Insights Index.

Millennial investors reported making their first investment at age 20, whereas baby boomers held off until age 27.

The study examined the outlook of 1,002 adult Canadian investors ages 23 to 33 and 53 to 66.

Forty-one percent of Gen Y investors said family encouragement had prompted their first investment. In contrast, 36% of baby boomers said the trigger had been an increase in income.

The report found that in the past 12 months, millennials invested an average of 18% of their income, but ideally would invest 29% of their income and hoped to be investing 30% in 10 years’ time.

Thirty-five percent of millennial investors said they would increase the proportion of their income invested if the stock markets improved, compared with only 15% of baby boomers who would do so.

Saving to buy a home and retirement planning were top of mind for millennials. The study found that even with balancing student debt loads and managing expenses, 50% had saving for retirement as their number one investing goal, followed by a home purchase (44%), travel (43%) and achieving financial independence (42%).

Only 23% said they had learned about savings and investing from a financial advisor, compared with 40% of boomers. Twenty-seven percent of Gen Y respondents said they had learned from a family member, while 18% had learned these things on their own.

And 48% said they had adopted a do-it-yourself attitude toward investment, managing their portfolios directly online.

Check out Advisors’ Tech Strategies Help Boomers but Ignore Gen X and Y on ThinkAdvisor.