Gen Z Is Investing Because of FOMO, Survey Finds

You may have experienced FOMO — the fear of missing out — before, like if you didn’t go to an event that your friends went to and now you feel like you’re missing out on the experience. It’s a frequently used phrase to explain that missing out feeling, and it’s what’s driving over 40% of Gen Z to start investing, according to a survey by the CFA Institute and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation.

A person with hand on their chin looking at their phone.

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A person with hand on their chin looking at their phone.

The two organizations surveyed a total of 2,872 people in Gen Z, millennial and Gen X combined from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and China to understand investment-related behaviors in people with and without investment accounts. The survey showed, most interestingly, new and helpful research about what factors are driving Gen Z’s financial decision-making, which includes access to financial information on social media and investing apps.

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According to the survey, 41% of the Gen Z group — ages 18-25 — in the U.S. and Canada, 43% from the U.K. and 60% from China cited FOMO as the reason why they started investing. And the most common investment among Gen Z? Crypto, which is what 44% of Gen Z investors are investing in right now. 


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A large percentage of Gen Z respondents also said they started investing before they turned 21: 82% of Gen Zers in the U.S., 79% in Canada, 81% in the U.K. and 60% in China. Many Gen Zers are also getting their financial and investing information from social media, the study found. It was the top source in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and it was the fourth highest behind investing apps in China. 

Gen Z investors in the U.S. also said their top financial goal is to be able to travel and go on vacation, according to the study. This was the same 53% of Gen Z investors in China, while Canadian Gen Z investors said their top concern was paying bills and Gen Z investors in the U.K. said their top financial goals are to buy homes. 

“The Gen Z population is diverse and digitally savvy,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh in the survey. “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. It is vital to understand their investing decisions and to provide them with the educational tools to prepare for those decisions.”

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