Younger Americans Have an Eye on Getting Rich, Survey Finds

Young rich couple working together while traveling in a private airplane.

Every generation’s top investing goal is retiring comfortably, but younger generations also want to get rich. A news survey finds that 29% of Gen Z and 22% of millennial investors’ primary goal is to get rich, compared with 8% of Gen X and 2% of baby boomers.

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The new MagnifyMoney survey finds that younger investors have a more aggressive investing style and tend to pursue riskier strategies. Gen Zers in particular , 40% of them, have more aggressive investing philosophies for higher potential returns, but 57% say they also tend to have more investing regrets than older generations. In comparison, 22% of baby boomers say they tend to lean aggressive and 33% say they lean conservative.

Regardless of age, investors’ top regrets are not investing more money, at 19%, and selling a certain investment, at 10%, the survey notes.

Sources of information for investing are also different across generations, as older investors prefer to trust financial advisors for portfolio management. Indeed, 70% of baby boomers are most likely to trust financial advisors and half of them say they want a professional to manage their portfolio, while younger investors prefer a “DIY investing approach.”

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“Young people have the most valuable asset when it comes to investing: time,” Ismat Mangla, MagnifyMoney executive editor, said in the survey. “They have the power of compounding on their side. Young investors can invest heavily in stocks and afford to take more risk, as long as they hold onto those investments. Stocks have a ton of growth potential over time, and even if the market takes a dip, young people can let their portfolios recover.”

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Another significant demographic difference is in how younger generations approach investments and how they feel about them, with 57% of Gen Zers and 50% of millennials having investing regrets from the last year, compared with 39% of Gen Xers and 26% of baby boomers.

Finally, the survey notes that the biggest generational divide is whether people use mobile apps to invest. A staggering 80% of Gen Zers and 71% of millennials invest through apps, compared to 55% of Gen Xers and 24% of baby boomers.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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