By Hamzah Almasyabi, CEO at MintedTM, an investment platform which allows individuals to buy and sell precious metals.
The pandemic has caused financial concern for many, but particularly for the younger generation, who are now facing uncertain career prospects and the rising cost of living. With more than ever to consider financially, the need to save and invest for the future has become even more apparent. Taking financial security into their own hands, Generation Z have turned to modern technology to make smart investments.
Cryptocurrencies and app technologies are changing the way people manage their money, by offering a more accessible and modern route into investing. Research undertaken by precious metals savings app, Minted, found that 71% of 16–24-year-olds are investing their money, compared with only 35% of those over 55. When looking at the financial difficulties so many young people are currently facing, this statistic comes as no surprise. Up against a higher cost of housing and rising national insurance costs, Gen Z has been left with no option but to think tactically about their future, which has led many down the path and investment. The pandemic added to this need, prompting over 60% of 16–24-year-olds to start saving more and over half to start investing. With precious metals, stocks and shares, and cryptocurrencies amounting to almost 60% of total investments for this age group, it’s clear they are not afraid of exploring differing investment options.
Social media has also played a large part in the increasing number of young investors, with terms such as bitcoin and dogecoin regularly featuring on trending pages. Platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit are useful sources of information for younger investors looking to get started and there are a number of ‘how to’ guides readily available.
Gone are the days when a physical bank is needed to support investing habits and a rise in fintech companies has seen a number of smarter investing and banking solutions hit the market, app investing being one of them. Offering users low entry costs and starting amounts, young people can delve straight into building their investment portfolio using just their smartphone.
On a mission to offer a safe and convenient route into investing, Minted is encouraging more young people to invest their money where it matters. Investing should be a viable option for the everyday person, whether they’re looking to boost their bank account, or building an investment portfolio of precious metals and cryptocurrencies.
However, as with any form of investment, a certain amount of knowledge is crucial. Proper research and education into investment routes is vital to mitigate against any potential risks. Users must be aware of the ever-changing financial landscape and that markets can be volatile, which was evident when the value of bitcoin dropped approximately 15% after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would no longer be accepting the currency as a form of payment back in June.
Each investment has different levels of risk. For example, cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin can be considered particularly high risk, due to their volatility. Investments into more traditional stocks and shares, or precious metals, such as gold or silver, which hold their intrinsic value, could be considered the safer option. Ultimately no matter where the money is invested, proper research and understanding is still pivotal.
Investors relying on modern technology, such as apps, should begin by undertaking thorough research into the platform of their choice. Users should ask themselves what they are looking for from their investments and what their long-term goals are. Is it to make money quickly, or invest slowly over time for a more gradual financial growth? Are they looking for a physical product, such as gold? Establishing these goals can help ensure that the investor is making smart financial decisions that will benefit them and which suit their situation.
Looking at the credibility of platforms is also crucial; users should research how established the company is and what has been written about them online. This will give users an idea of how reliable the platforms are and whether or not they are the right option for them. Being aware of any additional fees, details of the terms and conditions, and what exactly the app is offering, is essential in preventing any nasty shocks further down the line.
For young people taking their first steps in investment, starting slow and building up experience can be beneficial in the long-term. It is generally also good practice to spread risk by investing in different asset classes and industries. Setting up a range of smaller investments, rather than one large sum, ensures that users are better protected against substantial loss and able to build a wider investment portfolio. Being realistic around affordability is another key factor to consider, as this will prevent against any financial difficulty. Markets can change quickly, so not reacting rashly to a changing landscape is vital if a portfolio is to be managed effectively.
As investment apps and cryptocurrencies continue to rapidly diversify, no one can say for certain what is on the financial horizon. Whatever the future holds for investment, it is certain that the younger generations have a significant role to play in popularising new and developing platforms, as well as challenging the stereotypes of what people invest in, and more importantly, how.