Survey Shows Gen Z, Millennials Favor Crypto Over Traditional Stocks

Key Insights:

  • Approximately 20% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials are now investing in cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
  • Older generations, such as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, still prefer stocks, with ownership at 28% and 45%, respectively.
  • Social media influences financial decisions for younger Americans, with nearly 10% turning there first.

A fresh Policygenius survey uncovers a key shift in investment preferences among America’s younger demographics, highlighting a pronounced tilt towards cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The research, conducted with 4,063 adults across the United States from October 16 to October 19 and released on April 9, reveals that Gen Zers, aged 18 to 26, and millennials, aged 27 to 42, show a marked preference for alternative assets over traditional ones like stocks.

Moreover, the findings indicate that 20% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials now engage in investments tied to digital assets. This contrasts with their participation in the stock market, where only 18% of Gen Zers reported owning stocks. Meanwhile, older generations like Gen Xers and Baby Boomers continue to favor stock investments, with 28% and 45%, respectively, reporting stock ownership.

Gen Z
Crypto ownership by age group in adult Americans: Policygenius

Myles Ma, an analyst at Policygenius, offers insight into these trends, suggesting,

Younger generations store their wealth differently than their Gen X and boomer counterparts, including novel investments like cryptocurrency. This could show a bigger willingness to take risks with their money, but it could also reflect obstacles they can’t control, like the growing housing shortage.

Additionally, the survey sheds light on how young Americans seek financial advice, with 9% of Gen Z and 8% of millennials likely to consult social media first for financial queries. This is a stark contrast to the older generations, with only 3% of Gen X and 1% of Baby Boomers doing the same.

Despite the complexities and uncertainties of the modern financial landscape, the survey notes a sense of pride among Gen Zers and millennials regarding their financial management skills. This attitude reflects a broader, proactive approach toward financial literacy and independence among younger Americans.

Parallel studies corroborate these findings, revealing high cryptocurrency adoption rates among younger generations. For instance, a Bitget study from April 2023 found that 46% of millennials across major economies own cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, a Charles Schwab survey from October 2022 highlighted a growing desire among Gen Z and millennials for digital assets in their retirement funds, with around half of the respondents expressing interest in including cryptocurrencies in their 401(k) plans.

These surveys collectively underline a significant evolution in investment strategies as younger generations increasingly diverge from traditional paths like real estate and stocks and gravitate towards the digital asset sphere.

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