Bankrate.com found that 19 percent of those aged 18 to 37 reported “feelings of excitement” during the February market sell-off, compared with 8 percent for Generation X and 4 percent for Baby Boomers.
Millennials found their safe space in February’s stock rout.
As markets sank into the first 10 percent correction in two years, millennial investors were hardly frightened and in fact were more enthralled by the drama than their older peers. According to a survey by Bankrate.com, 19 percent of those aged 18 to 37 reported “feelings of excitement” during the sell-off, compared with 8 percent for Generation X and 4 percent for Baby Boomers.
“If you’re a long-term investor you want to be able to buy low, and millennials had a chance to add to their retirement accounts at a lower price,” Bankrate.com analyst Taylor Tepper said by phone. “In that sense, it’s very exciting.”
Indeed, more than a quarter of millennial investors said they upped their stock holdings during the correction, outpacing the other demographics, according to the survey, which was conducted from Feb. 28 to March 1. It questioned 2,287 adults in the U.S., 1,063 of whom said they have an investment account. Millennials were the least likely group to have an account, with just 30 percent of those questioned saying that they invest compared with 46 percent of Gen X and 54 percent of Baby Boomers, according to the survey.
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Another potential reason for the youthful enthusiasm? This was the first “Trump correction,” Tepper said, and millennials are disproportionately anti-Trump. In a January Gallup poll, the president had the lowest approval rating among respondents 18 to 29 years old than any other age group. So it isn’t surprising that millennials saw the downturn as a rebuke of his administration’s policies.
Overall, investors kept calm throughout the turmoil, with just 6 percent of those surveyed pulling cash from their accounts, according to the report. Almost half the respondents said they felt “indifference” to the downturn, compared with 13 percent who were scared.
“When the sell-off happened, I was concerned that many people would start selling and change their behavior,” Tepper said. “ But they didn’t really seem to do so.”