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FINRA Foundation-CFA Institute Research Focuses on Gen Z Investors

Report Examines Attitudes, Behaviors of Investors Ages 18 to 25

WASHINGTON—FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and CFA Institute have released a new report, Gen Z and Investing: Social Media, Crypto, FOMO, and Family.

The report examines attitudes and behaviors around investing among two Gen Z segments (ages 18 to 25) in the United States—those with and those without any investment accounts—and compares them with their investing millennial and Gen X counterparts. The report also profiles Gen Z investors in Canada, the United Kingdom and China and compares them with their counterparts in the United States.

“The Gen Z population is diverse and digitally savvy. They are using mobile technology to enter the financial markets in unprecedented numbers and consulting a wide range of information sources as they do so,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “It is vital to understand their investing decisions and to provide them with the educational tools to prepare for those decisions.”

“These new entrants to the world of investing are reshaping investment practices, products, and platforms. Our study has underlined the extent to which their investment habits differ significantly from their predecessor investor cohorts. A range of macroeconomic and social factors such as rising inflation, the growing popularity and accessibility of cryptocurrency, and social media ‘finfluencers’ are having a profound impact on how, where and what they invest in,” said Paul Andrews, Managing Director for Research, Advocacy and Standards at CFA Institute.

Key findings include:

  • Despite their young age, a surprisingly large percentage of Gen Zs in the United States invest, with cryptocurrency as their top choice: Close to six in 10 (56 percent) report owning at least some investments. They primarily invest in cryptocurrency (55 percent) and individual stocks (41 percent). They are less likely than their older counterparts to use mutual funds and are more likely, along with millennials, to invest in crypto and non-fungible tokens compared with Gen Xers.
  • Gen Z investors in the United States use a variety of resources to learn about investing: They learn about investing and finances primarily through social media (48 percent), internet searches (47 percent) and parents/family (45 percent). Their top online resource is YouTube (60 percent) followed by internet searches, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook.
  • Gen Z investors in the United States are risk-takers: Almost half (46 percent) are willing to take substantial or above-average financial risks. Half (50 percent) say they have made an investment driven by their fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • Barriers to investing: Gen Zs in the United States who are not yet investing cite lack of savings (65 percent), not having enough income/living paycheck-to-paycheck (64 percent) and lack of knowledge about investing (56 percent) as the primary reasons why.
  • Like their counterparts in the United States, Gen Zs around the world are investing in large numbers: Among the countries covered by the study, Canada has the highest percentage of Gen Z investors, with nearly three-quarters (74 percent) saying they own at least one investment, compared to 56 percent in the United States, 49 percent in the United Kingdom and 57 percent in China.

Recent FINRA Foundation reports that may be of interest include:

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit


FINRA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. It regulates one critical part of the securities industry—brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA, overseen by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, writes rules, examines for and enforces compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws, registers broker-dealer personnel and offers them education and training, and informs the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers a dispute resolution forum for investors and brokerage firms and their registered employees. For more information, visit

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. There are more than 190,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter at @CFAInstitute.