Many studies explore the generational differences between baby boomers and millennials, but what investments do millennials actually buy today? Apex Clearing analyzed the stock buying habits of thousands of millennial clients. With the transference of wealth between generations on its way, advisors would be smart to understand this new breed of investor. Here are key findings:
1. Millennial investors are mostly interested in brands that they use, as well as those that align with their values.
A look at the top 25 holdings by millennial investors showed their top five stocks and percentage of millennials holding them: Amazon (10.6%), Facebook (5.8%), Apple (5.8%), Netflix (4.1%) and Tesla (3.5%).
On the other end of the top 25: General Electric (0.6%), Bank of America (0.5%), Ford (0.5%), Salesforce (0.5%) and Activision Blizzard (0.5%).
Also included in the top 25 were Chinese companies IQIYI, JD.com and Alibaba.
2. Millennials invest mainly in sectors that are technology-driven and largely disruptive.
Apex found the top sectors for millennial investing were: retail (Amazon), personal computing (Apple), content delivery (Netflix), auto (Tesla), computer hardware (Nvidia), e-commerce (Alibaba), and payments (Square).
3. Millennials are contrarian in their purchase of stocks, and follow “buy and hold” strategies despite their “instant gratification” reputation.
For example, when Facebook’s stock price dropped 19% in July, there was a 34% increase in millennial purchasing, while Gen Xers had a 25% increase and baby boomers an 18% increase. Similarly, Tesla’s 15% stock price drop in September spurred a 10% increase in millennial buying verses a 6% increase for Gen Xers and 3% increase for baby boomers.
4. Blue-chips aren’t feeling the millennial love.
Those old stalwarts that baby boomers loved get a cold shoulder from millennials, especially if they don’t follow a socially responsible directive. For example, those ranked in the top 50 stocks still favored by boomers include ExxonMobil, McDonald’s, Altria and Chevron. However, for millennials, Exxon and McDonald’s rank between 50 and 100, while Altria and Chevron fall to between 100 and 150. Philip Morris, ranked between 50 and 100 with boomers, drops to between 150 and 200 for millennials. And DowDuPont, although between 50 and 100 for boomers, gets little love from millennials, dropping close to 250.
5. The financial crisis had an impact on the millennial generation.
The 2008 financial crisis definitely affected millennials, who came of age at that time. The top financial brand isn’t a bank or insurance giant, but mobile payments company Square, which is ranked 11th in top millennial stock ownership. Where do others fall? No. 20: Visa, No. 22: Bank of America, No. 48: Mastercard, No. 52: JPMorgan Chase, No. 87: Wells Fargo. and No. 96: Citigroup.
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