Millennial Investing Statistics

Millennials have easier access to the stock market and other investments than any generation that came before them. They also have a reputation for getting a slower start to investing than their parents, in part due to the 2008 financial crisis hitting just as many Millennials came of age.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at how Millennials invest, Millennial investing statistics, and what all of this could mean for their financial futures.

About Millennial Investing

Millennials are the largest generation of Americans alive right now. Encompassing everyone ages 25-40, there are more than 72 million Millennials today. That’s had a huge impact on the market and the economy, since Millennials have a different approach to investing, spending, and saving than older generations.

millennial investing

Overall, Millennials have taken to investing to the same extent or more than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Many Millennials are focused on stability and saving for retirement, especially after living through the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, Millennials face a challenging home buying market that has greatly impacted what types of assets they’re most invested in.

Millennial Investing Statistics – Highlights

  • Millennials take a traditional approach to the market: 66% own stocks and 47% own mutual funds.
  • Millennial investors aren’t afraid of risk: 40% of investors under 40 hold crypto and 31% hold options positions.
  • Millennials are proactive about saving for retirement: On average, millennials start saving for retirement at age 24 and 39% of millennials save at least 10% of their salary.
  • Millennials lean on employer-sponsored retirement plans: 67% report putting money into employer-sponsored retirement plans, and 53% have 401(k) plans. 
  • Millennials aren’t heavily invested in their homes. Only 48.6% of millennials are homeowners, compared to 69.1% of Gen Xers. 24.7% of millennials have given up on owning a home altogether.

1. 88% of Millennials Invest Their Money

(Source: Clutch)

A whopping 88% of Millennials invest their money. This speaks not only to how accessible investing has become in recent years, but also the degree to which the importance of investing has been hammered home to Millennials.

millennial investing cash on hand

Although Millennials lived through the 2008 financial crisis, they also experienced the decade-long bull market that followed. So, they know just how powerful steady investment can be.

2. 66% of Millennial Investors Own Stocks

(Source: Motley Fool)

The stock market has long been the most common way – excepting homeownership – for Americans to invest their money. That’s true for Millennials, two-thirds of whom are directly invested in stocks. It’s worth noting, however, that stock ownership is lower among Millennials than Gen Zers, 73% of whom own stocks.

3. 41% of Millennial Investors Hold Financial Stocks

(Source: Motley Fool)

Among Millennial stock investors, finance and tech stocks are the most popular. 41% of Millennial investors hold financial stocks, and another 41% hold information technology stocks. An additional 39% are invested in high-tech and emerging tech stocks.

4. 66% of Millennial Investors Think Investing is Scary

(Source: Ally)

Although the vast majority of Millennials are investing in their money, that doesn’t mean all of them are comfortable doing it. Two-thirds of Millennials report feeling that investing is scary. That’s despite the best efforts of brokerages, financial advisors, and robo-advisors to make investing simpler.

5. Millennials Rank Stability Most Important When Choosing Stocks

(Source: Motley Fool)

Asked to rank what factors matter most when choosing stocks on a scale from 1-9, with 1 being the most important, Millennials rated historical stability a 4.17 – the most important factor in the survey. Ratings from investment researchers and dividend payouts were tied as the next most important factors, each with an average rating of 4.37.

6. 75% of Millennials are Saving for Retirement

(Source: Bank of America)

Three-quarters of Millennials are putting away part of their salaries for retirement, although not all of this money is being invested immediately. Millennials started investing at a median age of 24, compared to 30 for Gen Xers. So, Millennials may be able to retire earlier or more comfortably than many Americans who are currently nearing retirement age. 

7. 39% of Millennials Save at Least 10% of Their Salary for Retirement

(Source: Transamerica Center)

Nearly two-fifths of Millennials take 10% or more of their salary and save it for retirement. That means that a large portion of Millennials are well on their way to meeting their retirement goals. 24% of Millennials report having $100,000 or more saved for retirement already.

millennial investing retirement

8. 67% of Millennials Use Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

(Source: Bank of America, Clutch)

More than two-thirds of Millennials report putting away money in employer-sponsored retirement plans. In fact, 53% of Millennials are invested in 401(k) plans, while only 29% are invested in traditional and Roth IRAs.

This suggests that Millennials are eager to take advantage of employer-sponsored plans, many of which offer financial incentives to save for retirement. However, these plans may also have limited investing options compared to self-directed accounts.

9. 48.6% of Millennials are Homeowners

(Source: Apartment List)

Nearly half of Millennials are homeowners. This significantly lags the rate of homeownership among older generations – 69.1% of Gen Xers own their own home, while 78.5% of Baby Boomers are homeowners.

Affordability is a major issue standing between Millennials and homeownership. 24.7% of Millennials say they have given up on ever trying to own their own home.

10. 38% of Millennials Invest in Crypto

(Source: Investopedia)

38% of Millennials report holding at least some cryptocurrency in their portfolios. That proportion could increase significantly over time as it becomes easier to invest in cryptocurrencies, although it’s unclear how the recent drop in the crypto market will affect Millennial sentiment around digital currencies.

A much greater proportion of Millennials own crypto than members of other generations. Only 28% of Gen Xers and 23% of Gen Zers report investing in cryptocurrency.

11. 30% of Millennials Invest in Options

(Source: Motley Fool)

While options are usually considered an aggressive or risky investment, nearly one-third of Millennials report holding options positions in their portfolios. That likely reflects the growth of commission-free options trading, encouraging more investors to try out options. The proportion of Gen Zers who report holding options is even higher, at 39%.

millennials invest in options

12. 20% of Millennials Use Robo-advisors

(Source: Investopedia)

Despite the rapid growth of robo-advisors in recent years, only 20% of Millennials use these services to invest. The majority of Millennials report a preference for human financial advisors. Among Millennials who use robo-advisors, Vanguard Personal Advisory Service and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios are the most popular platforms.

13. 33% of Millennials Invest in ESG Stocks

(Source: CNBC)

Millennials were largely responsible for the growth of funds focused on good Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) characteristics. Today, roughly one-third of Millennials are invested in ESG-specific funds or other investments that take ESG characteristics into account. That’s higher than any other generation: 19% of Gen Zers and 16% of Gen Xers report investing in ESG funds.

14. 47% of Millennials Own Mutual Funds

(Source: Motley Fool)

Nearly half of millennials own mutual funds, while only 23% own exchange-traded funds (ETFs). That’s somewhat surprising given the ease of access and low fees of ETFs. However, it may be explained in part by the fact that many employer-sponsored retirement plans only offer mutual fund investments.

15. 54% of Millennials are Optimistic about the Future

(Source: Nationwide Financial)

Despite living through the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of Millennial investors are optimistic about the future. The majority of Millennials also believe that they have strategies in place to protect their finances in the event of another financial crisis.

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Kevin Martin

Kevin is an ambitious entrepreneur that is obsessed with all things related to finance. From a young age, Kevin has always been involved with side hustles ranging from online selling to freelance work. Over the years, Kevin graduated from side hustles and started launching multiple online and offline businesses. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur who loves starting new businesses and exploring all things related to business and finance. He is constantly looking for new ways to save money, invest money, and create income streams.