Millennials are making long-term investments in big tech stocks

Key Points
  • Tech stocks are the most popular among millennials, according to a report from TD Ameritrade.
  • Millennials are avoiding dividend-paying stocks.
  • Netflix stock has grown more than 60 percent over the last year.
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As goes Silicon Valley, so goes millennials' money.

Young adult investors are buying shares in tech companies and avoiding dividend-yielding stocks favored by the general investing population, according to Steve Quirk, executive vice president of TD Ameritrade's Trader Group.

Quirk, citing a TD Ameritrade report, said millennials' top stock is Apple, which in early May paid the world's biggest dividend. But none of the rest of their favorite five stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Tesla — pay dividends.

Tesla doesn't crack the top 10 list for the general population, he said.

Quirk said these investing preferences make sense as long-term strategies for young adults with many years to invest ahead of them.

"Most of them are very interested in technology, but the biggest difference would be the dividend-yielding stocks," Quirk said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" Monday.

Three of the top 10 companies bought by TD Ameritrade's overall clientele are dividend-paying stocks, he said.

The difference "isn't a real surprise when you think about the amount of time they have to invest and how they want to be a little more aggressive in their stance," Quirk said, "whereas in the general population, their duration of investment's a little shorter, so they're interested in the income."

Among millennials' top-five stocks, Netflix has seen the largest increase over the last year. Netflix traded at $152.67 on Monday, more than 61 percent above its price one year ago.

Millennials are also more than twice as likely as other generations to make trades with their phones or tablets. Quirk said 46 percent of millennials make their trades on mobile devices on an average day, compared with 22 percent of overall trades.

Overall, millennials appear to be trading based on what they know. "If I trade Snap, 75 percent of the people who trade Snap also trade Facebook and they trade Twitter. So they all trade the same" social media stocks, Quirk said.

Correction: The story was revised to correct that Apple pays dividends.