Before the rise of the internet, people used wired telephones to call their stockbrokers to place orders to buy or sell stocks. Fast forward to today, people are still using their phones (albeit smartphones) to invest in the stock market.
You can easily use your mobile to read financial updates, access stock investing platforms, or use fintech mobile apps.
According to researcher Investment Trends, the online investor community in Australia has doubled to about 1.5 million since 2020.
The research house also estimates that about 866 digital wealth management applications are now operating in the market and targeting consumers aged 15 to 35, known as millennials or generation Y.
The number of fintech targeting this niche has quadrupled from about 164 in 2019.
One of the biggest fintech in Australia today is CommSec Pocket, an investing app developed and launched by Commonwealth Bank in 2019.
One of the “Big Four”, Commonwealth Bank has invested $1.23 billion on behalf of more than 300,000 customers of its investing app and introduced more functionalities to its primary banking app to lure more of the next generation of stock market investors.
Unaffordable financial advice has driven demand for the app, says Mr Richard Burns, the app’s managing director.
The app allows customers to invest as little as $50 in a narrow range of ASX-listed ETFs issued by third-party fund managers.
Mr Burns added that many of their customers are motivated by wanting an alternative to the low-interest rates on offer on savings accounts and the desire to save for a home deposit.
Aside from CommSec Pocket, the following apps are the leading mobile platforms in Australia according to Finder.com.au:
- CMC Markets Invest mobile app
- IG Trading app
- nabtrade IRESS mobile app
- Westpac Online Investing app
Where do Millennials invest their money?
Millennials are seen as spenders rather than investors, but new research suggests otherwise.
A study of 1,002 Australians commissioned by CBA and conducted by YouGov Galaxy in April 2021 found that at least two in five millennials are actively investing their money with the ultimate goal of becoming financially independent.
And no, most millennials are not betting on cryptocurrency, NFTs, or other rising investment vehicles.
Property, shares, and super are the three major investment priorities among the new breed of investors.
The CBA survey reveals that 45% of millennials are investing in property, specifically residential properties.
Rentvesting is a popular property investment trend among millennials who want to live in a rented accommodation in big cities but have invested in properties situated in regional areas.
At least 38% of millennials are investing in the stock market, which is not surprising according to Bryce Leske, the co-founder of the popular Equity Mates podcast (alongside co-host Alec Renehan).
Mr Leske claims he has seen a huge uptick of younger people turning to shares as opposed to brick-and-mortar investments like real estate.
“When we first started the podcast investing felt like something that was out of reach for everyday Australians … it was dominated by this idea that you’d just build wealth through housing,” Mr Leske added. “If you think about the costs involved with putting together an enormous deposit, shouldering legal costs, stamp duty … the price of housing ends up being well out of reach for so many people.”
Millennials, the first generation to enter the workforce with super contributions, are making voluntary payments.
A quarter of respondents to the CBA survey said that they are topping up their superannuation in addition to employer share.
Young investors are also taking advantage of the first home super saver (FHSS) scheme, which allows saving money for the first home inside the super fund.
In a 2020 report published by BetaShares at least 65% of new ETF investors are Millennials and Gen Zers with 23% being female.
ETFs are available for a range of assets and individual assets such as ASX shares, foreign shares, and fixed-income investments like bonds, precious metals, commodities, and foreign currencies.
The creativity and courage of millennials led to the development and popularity of cryptocurrencies.
According to a report published by investment platform eToro, 38% of Millennials and Gen Zers are crypto investors.
On top of the 38% already invested, another 35% said they plan to do so in the next 12 months, which means that two out of three millennials are into crypto.
The top cryptocurrencies in Australia are Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
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