Among some of the stereotypes perpetuated about young investors are that they rely on social media for financial guidance, ignore professional advice and resist proven methods for investing. However, a survey released Tuesday by Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group found those stereotypes may be largely exaggerated.

The Young High-Net-Worth Insights Survey was conducted in February by Phoenix Marketing International among 153 investors between 18 and 35 who had at least $1 million in investable assets.

Contrary to popular belief, the survey found that among young investors not already working with their parents’ advisor, half (49%) say they would be open to doing so – citing such reasons as the success their parents have had, the advisor’s long history with or ties to the family, the quality of their past investment advice and performance, and because they trust the individual. Only 24% would be adamantly against working with their parents’ advisor.

When asked about their investment priorities, survey participants indicated that, while they desire growth, they also understand the need for diversification to reduce risk. Other findings include:

  • 88% are looking to grow their assets, while 12 %prioritize wealth preservation over growth.
  • 63% are willing to take on greater investment risk for the potential of higher returns, while 37% would prefer lower investment risk, understanding it may result in lower potential returns.
  • 78% make investment diversification a priority in order to reduce risk, while 22% would sacrifice diversification for the potential of increased growth.
  • 40% rely on a more traditional “buy and hold” investment strategy, whereas 31%regularly buy and sell in the hope of outpacing the markets and maximizing gains.

This reminds me of an article I wrote in 2011 about Singapore’s young investors, “Should Young Adults Take Higher Risk Investments?” I expressed my worries that the local media probably misguided the young generation in Singapore and made them believing investing is easy and fashionable. The newspaper articles such as “Young investor defied his parents” and “Newbie unfazed by trading losses” may just sound cool to our since-young-worry-free new generation.

With the incubating Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR), looks like we still have a lot of to catch up.

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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