- The GameStop craze pushed about 10% of British Gen-Zers to begin investing, survey data show.
- More than half got investment advice from social media like TikTok and Twitter.
- Analysts have previously said Gen Z would be the “most disruptive ever” to traditional markets.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
About one-tenth of British Gen-Zers started investing for the first time because of the GameStop saga, new survey data shows.
The data – compiled by F&C Investment Trust, which is owned by BMO – showed 62% of those Gen-Zers in the UK invested in “meme stocks” pushed by Reddit.
The GameStop saga, which began in January and has continued since, was prompted by an army of Reddit day traders, who pushed the company’s shares from single to triple digits in an effort to squeeze short-sellers. The events signaled the arrival of a new generation of investors interested in driving up the price of “meme stocks,” like GameStop, AMC Entertainment, and BlackBerry, among others.
The saga “has heralded a new generation of enthusiastic and engaged investors, which is a positive outcome,” said Ross Duncton, managing director, head of direct at BMO.
The events surrounding GameStop also prompted more than half of the new Gen-Z investors to make investment decisions with the help of advice found on social media sites like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, the survey said.
Market volatility caused the young investors to have an increased appetite for risk, the survey data showed, with 61% considering higher-risk investments than GameStop as well as unfamiliar asset classes such as cryptocurrencies.
Looking back on their decisions, only about a fifth of the young investors said they wished they would have been more cautious.
“GameStop has no doubt prompted more young people to consider investing, but investing shouldn’t be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme,” Duncton said. “Many are now reflecting on the investment decisions possibly made in the heat of the moment, recognising that there are potentially more effective ways to grow their money over the long-term, with lower risk.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, retail trading exploded among young people who had more free time on their hands, Insider reported previously. In the past 12 months in the UK alone, about a sixth of Gen-Z individuals started investing, the survey said.
Wall Street firms have been working to attract the young, new investors. Fidelity Investments, for example, said it will begin offering no-fee brokerage accounts to 13- to 17-year-olds whose parents have an account with the firm.
Bank of America analysts have previously said Gen-Z would be “the most disruptive ever” to markets, as they focus more on technology, sustainability, and climate change, and less on classical institutions.