Gen Z v. Millennial: Who’s the more ready, confident investor?

14 Dec 2022

Investing News and Analysis
Image of a woman representing Gen Z and image of a women representing millennials against a blue background.

Survey finds 55% of Gen Z Americans think you should begin investing as soon as 18 years old

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Gen Z v. Millennial: Who’s the more ready, confident investor?

Knowing how and when to start working towards your financial goals can be confusing. In fact, new data from a Magnifi survey revealed that more than half of Americans (58%) are not on track to achieve their financial goals in 2022 (1). But what does it mean to be in a state of financial well-being? Broadly speaking, it is meeting current and future financial commitments without the fear of having enough money. While there are many ways to achieve financial well-being, investing can be the front seat driver, and whether you think you’re headed in the right direction or not, the roadmap to investing looks different for everyone.

According to the same survey, one in three (35%) Americans have never invested in the stock market and one-quarter (28%) don’t plan to invest in 2023. For a majority of people, investing might seem intimidating. 42 percent believe they don’t have enough money, 41 percent lack the knowledge and confidence, 38 percent fear losing money, and 15 percent think they have too much debt to even think of investing. Additionally, 50 percent of people think you need $500 or more to start investing, when in reality you can start investing with any amount. The important thing to remember is that investing has a long time horizon and should be done with your future goals and needs in mind.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to be an expert to start on your own. With Magnifi, investors at every level can gain access to market intelligence through simplified, self-guided investing so they can create diversified investments that meet their needs (2).

Though there are barriers to investing, seven in ten Americans (72%) are planning to invest in 2023 to earn additional income (49%) and to be able to retire some day (42%). Of those planning to invest, 50% said they plan to invest independently, led by Gen Z (63%) and Millennials (55%). This comes as no surprise as investing has become more mainstream, with increasingly easier ways to access investments than previous generations. Today, phones are ubiquitous, and people use them to handle most everything and now, they are using their phones for investing too.

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When and how to invest: Gen Z v. Millennial

So, when, and how should you start investing? For Gen Z, the answer is as soon as possible. 55 percent of Gen Z adults think you should begin investing as early as 18, while 40 percent of Millennials think you should start between the ages of 25-34 or when you get your first job (47%), led by Millennial males (52%). Millennial women, on the other hand, are a bit more conservative and believe you should begin investing between the ages of 35-44 (87%). The decision to invest is a multi-step process, but for Gen Z, it’s simple: you should invest to earn additional income (59%), primarily driven by Gen Z women, and because it is the responsible thing to do (33%). On the other hand, Millennials invest so they can retire some day (40%) and are hoping to build multi-generational wealth (29%). Interestingly, though, 68 percent of Millennials are nervous that their current financial situation will not allow them to retire by 65.

Because Gen Z and Millennials are seeking an autonomous investment plan, some of the most important criteria when selecting an investment app were brand credibility (28%), commission free trades (12%), and access to expert analysis (10%). Surprisingly, the ability to trade crypto is a lower priority, with only 2% believing it’s important. While crypto is hot, both Gen Z and Millennials are not married to having it as part of their investment app choice.

When it comes to your financial future, there is no simple answer because no matter how much money you have or don’t, the state of the market, or your confidence level, there are a lot of uncertainties with investing that can understandably cause internal angst. Magnifi makes investing personal because no two people will have the same investing strategies. Through our investment marketplace, you can get answers, find investments that work for you, and start a long-term portfolio.


  1. Methodology - This opt-in survey was commissioned by Magnifi the week of October 17, 2022, among 1,000 American adults aged 18 and older, and conducted online by Dynata. Respondents of the survey were selected from those who volunteered to participate in online surveys. One thousand complete surveys were collected using the sample framework based on U.S. Census data for age, ethnicity, gender, region, and income.
  2. Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. It is a method used to help manage investment risk.



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