Facing uncertain career prospects and the rising cost of living, it’s unsurprising that the younger generation are taking their financial security into their own hands, by investing. This tech-savvy group of individuals are switching their attention to the new investment apps hitting the market, promising a safer way to make money and save for the future.
The investment market has recently seen a rise in fintech companies that are offering smarter solutions for the everyday investor. With a particular focus on cryptocurrencies and precious metals, new app technologies are changing the way people manage their money by offering a safer and more accessible alternative. Research carried out by precious metals savings app, Minted, found that 71% of 16–24-year-olds are now investing their money. Although Gen Z were already notably savvy when it came to digital banking and saving, data shows that the pandemic played a significant role in the increasing financial interest amongst this demographic, with over 60% choosing to start saving more and over half to start investing. Precious metals, stocks and shares, and cryptocurrencies amount to almost 60% of total investments for this age group, making it clear that they are not afraid of exploring differing investment options.
The pandemic left many with feelings of financial uncertainty, but particularly the younger generation, who are now facing uncertain career prospects and the rising cost of living. With the rise of ‘finfluencers’ – financial influencers – social media also had a role to play in increasing the number of young investors. Terms such as bitcoin and dogecoin regularly feature on trending pages and TikTok and Instagram reels offer a plethora of advice on how to get started with investing.
The rise of digital banks such as Monzo and Starling have also shown that technology is making anything possible in the world of personal finance. Gone are the days when a physical bank is needed to support investing habits and thanks to the abundance of fintech companies entering the markets, smarter investing and banking solutions, such as app investing, are now readily available. Offering users low entry costs and starting amounts, young people can delve straight into building their investment portfolio using just their smartphone.
One of the companies on a mission to offer young people a safe and convenient route into investing is Minted. Investing should be a viable option for the everyday person and young people should be able to invest their money where is matters. Whether they’re looking to boost their bank account or build an investment portfolio of precious metals and cryptocurrencies, investing should be made accessible to all.
However, with any form of investment, a certain amount of knowledge is essential. The financial landscape is ever-changing, and markets can be volatile, so proper research and education into investment routes is vital to mitigate against any potential risks.
Firstly, it’s important to be aware that each investment type has different levels of risk. Due to their volatility, cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin can be considered particularly high risk, whereas investments into precious metals, such as gold and silver, could be considered a safer option, as they hold their intrinsic value. Undertaking prior research and having an in depth understanding of investment options is important.
Those turning their attention to modern investment tools such as apps should begin by undertaking thorough research into their chosen platform to gain an understanding of its credibility and the service it offers. 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 and comparing them to the app’s offering, can help ensure that the investor is making smart financial decisions that will benefit them and suit their situation.
The credibility of platforms is not to be overlooked. To understand how reliable the platform is, users should research how established the company is and what they reviews are from other investors and financial professionals. Being aware of any additional fees and details of the terms and conditions is also essential in preventing any nasty shocks further down the line.
For many young people, it may be their first step in the world of investment, so it’s important to start slow and build up experience. It is generally also good practice to spread risk by investing in different asset classes and industries. By setting up a range of smaller investments, rather than one large sum, users are better protected against substantial loss and able to build a wider investment portfolio. Another element to consider is affordability. Encountering financial difficulty can lead to a number of problems down the line, particularly with securing loans from banks or lenders, so it’s important for users to be realistic about what they can afford to invest. Markets can change quickly, so not reacting rashly to a changing landscape is vital if a portfolio is to be managed effectively.
Thanks to the rise in investment apps and cryptocurrencies, investing has never been easier. As modern technologies continue to rapidly diversify, no one can say for certain what is on the financial horizon. However, with all the tools needed to get started with investing, it is clear that the younger generation will play a significant role in popularising new and developing platforms, as well as challenging the stereotypes of what people invest in and how.
Hamzah Almasyabi, CEO at MintedTM, an investment platform which allows individuals to buy and sell precious metals.