Research conducted by CNBC and Acorns in partnership with Momentive finds new investors are much more likely to use mobile trading platforms to access markets, get investment ideas from social media and own cryptocurrencies
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, August 23, 2021 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Acorns, the country's fastest growing financial wellness system, today announced the results of the Invest in You Next Gen Survey. The national survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey), a leader in agile experience management, examined the investing behavior of more than 5,500 Americans ages 18 and up.
According to the findings, nearly half of Americans (45%) invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, cryptocurrencies or ETFs. About a quarter of those investors (26%) say they became investors in 2020 or later.
The attitudes and behaviors of this new class of investors is starkly different from those who began investing in 2019 or earlier. New investors are three times more likely than experienced investors to use a mobile trading platform to access the markets, more than twice as likely to get their investment ideas from social media and more than twice as likely to own cryptocurrencies.
Many of these new investors are younger adults. Overall, 37% of 18 to 34-year-old respondents say they are investors, three-fifths of whom began investing in 2020 or 2021. When asked why they became investors, more than a quarter (27%) of 18 to 34-year-olds say they like to invest because "it's exciting," 24% say it's easy to do on their own, and 12% say they invest because it "feels like a game." Incidentally, 57% of 18 to 34-year-old investors say they use a self-service mobile app to buy and sell investments versus 32% of 35 to 64-year-old investors and 5% of investors aged 65 and up.
"Fintech companies have long promised to democratize investing, and 2020 might have been the moment the dam broke," said Jon Cohen, Chief Research Officer at Momentive. "Last year ushered in new investors who are younger, more diverse, and more likely to use technology and social media in their strategies. Their impact on Wall Street—and business at large—is already shaking up markets."
Additional findings from the Invest in You Next Gen Survey include:
- 18 to 34-year old Americans are more likely to own cryptocurrency and less likely to think it's a risky asset class
- 15% of 18 to 34-year-olds say they own cryptocurrency, vs. 11% of 35 to 64-year-olds and 4% of those 65 and older
- 29% of 18 to 34-year-olds say investing in cryptocurrency is "high risk", vs. 46% of 35 to 64-year-olds and 63% of those 65 and older
- 18 to 34-year old investors are much more likely to say they invested their government stimulus payments
- 15% of 18 to 34-year-old investors say they used stimulus money to invest in individual stocks, while 9% invested in mutual funds and 8% in ETFs
- 11% of 18 to 34-year-old investors say they used stimulus money to buy cryptocurrency
- 18 to 34-year old investors transact more than their older counterparts
- 26% of 18 to 34-year-old investors trade weekly or more often, compared with 15% of investors age 35-64
- 18 to 34-year old investors use social media to research investment ideas
- 35% of 18 to 34-year-old investors say they get investment ideas from social media, compared with 15% of investors age 35 to 64
- Social media is the most popular source of investment research among this age group with "friends and family" being a distant second (25%), followed by financial guidance or investment websites (24%) and news websites (17%)
CNBC Technology Reporter Kate Rooney will reveal the results of the Invest in You Next Gen Survey today, Monday, August 23rd, throughout CNBC's Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/cnbc-invest-in-you-august-2021.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.
This Momentive online poll was conducted August 4 - 9, 2021 among a national sample of 5,530 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the Momentive platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.
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Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) is a leader in agile experience management, delivering powerful, purpose-built solutions that bring together the best parts of humanity and technology to redefine AI. Momentive products, including GetFeedback, SurveyMonkey, and Momentive brand and market insights solutions, empower decision-makers at 345,000 organizations worldwide to shape exceptional experiences. More than 20 million active users rely on Momentive to fuel market insights, brand insights, employee experience, customer experience, and product experience. Ultimately, the company's vision is to raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices. Learn more at momentive.ai.