Investors of Color are Entering the Market at a Faster Pace than White Investors and Tend to Be Much Younger, Report Shows
WASHINGTON—The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) has released a new report, Investors of Color in the United States.
The report examines the behavior and attitudes of investors of color based on data from FINRA Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study coupled with a series of focus groups conducted with young Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian American/Pacific Islander investors.
The report shows that investors of color are entering the market at a faster pace than white investors. New investors, particularly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors, tend to be much younger than white investors. New investors of color exhibit many of the same behaviors previous research has shown of younger investors, such as reliance on social media for investment information and trading risky investments like cryptocurrencies and so-called meme stocks.
“With a large number of young investors entering the markets, financial education leaders will need to adapt, including providing relatable and trustworthy resources on channels these new investors use,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. “While conducting this research, we learned from investors of color about barriers they or their families faced previously in building wealth through investing. Seeing an influx of new investors of color is encouraging and highlights the importance of our markets becoming more accessible.”
Key findings include:
- Investors of color are entering the market at a faster pace than white investors: Since 2015, the percentage of new investors has increased for all three groups analyzed — nine percentage points for Black/African American respondents, seven percentage points for Asian American/Pacific Islander respondents and six percentage points for Hispanic/Latino respondents. In contrast, the percentage of white respondents who are new investors has not changed substantially.
- Investors of color tend to be younger: This is particularly noticeable among Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors, nearly half of whom are under the age of 35.
- Motivations for investing: Non-white investors, particularly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors, are more likely than white investors to be motivated by reasons beyond long-term profit, including short-term gains, a desire to learn more about investing, entertainment and excitement, and because their peers are doing it.
- Information sources: Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors are more likely than white investors to rely on friends, family and colleagues, as well as suggestions provided in a mobile trading app, for information about investing. Black/African American investors are more likely than white investors to use online videos as resources. Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors are more likely than Asian American/Pacific Islander or white investors to rely on social media as a source of investment information.
- Investment products: Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino investors are more likely to engage in risky investments such as meme stocks, cryptocurrencies and options than are white and Asian American/Pacific Islander investors.
- Investment risk: Black/African American investors report higher risk tolerance levels than all other groups.
- Cultural and generational differences: The focus groups provided insights into the views of some young investors of color. For example, one focus group participant told researchers: “We’re first generation. Most families here are third, fourth, fifth generation, and they know the tricks. We don’t know anything about it. We know to save our money in the bank, where you don’t get anything back, as opposed to now learning about all these other ways of having your money work for you.”
About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives. For more information about FINRA Foundation research and education initiatives, visit finrafoundation.org.
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 U.S. FINRA, overseen by the SEC, 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 www.finra.org.