- The stock market’s youngest participants traded more often and with heightened risk appetites as the coronavirus slammed the economy, according to survey data from E-Trade.
- More than half of investors younger than 34 said their risk tolerance increased throughout the pandemic. Only 28% of the general population said the same, according to E-Trade.
- Forty-six per cent of Gen Z and millennial investors said they traded derivatives more frequently over the period, compared to just 22% of the general population doing so. Risky assets including options have seen volumes spike as young traders capitalise on strong volatility and slashed fees.
- “Access to the market has never been easier,” Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E-Trade, said, adding that research and strategy remain crucial for new investors.
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The US’s youngest investors took on more risk and traded with more volatile products as the coronavirus pandemic roiled markets over the summer, according to a new E-Trade survey.
More than half of Gen Z and millennial investors said their risk tolerance has grown since the outbreak began, according to the brokerage. Only 28% of all respondents said the same. More than half of investors below the age of 34 are also trading stocks more frequently throughout the pandemic and resulting economic slump, E-Trade said.
Roughly 46% of young investors said they traded derivatives more frequently. Only 22% of the general population said the same. Options trading, in particular, has seen a sharp increase across brokerages as retail investors capitalise on historic volatility and slashed trading fees.
“Access to the market has never been easier, so investors just embarking on trading should walk before they run,” Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E-Trade, said in a statement, adding that research, watch lists, and trading strategy are crucial for inexperienced investors.
E-Trade’s quarterly survey was conducted from July 1 to July 9 and included a sample of 873 self-directed active investors managing at least $US10,000.
Young investors’ risky trading is also taking up a larger share of total stock market activity. Retail investors’ trades typically make up roughly 20% of market activity and, in the busiest days, comprise a quarter of transactions, Joe Mecane, the head of execution services at Citadel Securities, said in a July Bloomberg TV interview. That share is up from roughly 10% just last year.
Less than one-tenth of the young investors surveyed said their portfolios have fully recovered from the virus’ initial hit. Yet the coalition is holding out hope for a near-term rebound. Half of the respondents expect their portfolios to break even within the next six months. The general population is considerably less optimistic, with only one-third of respondents holding the same outlook.
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