CFOs and benefits professionals can only do so much to influence employees to invest in a company 401(k) plan. So-called influencers are often needed to spur folks to enroll or up their contributions so they’re not caught flat-footed in retirement.
Believe it or not, the most investment-savvy cohort may be Generation Z. When you consider that many are just getting started in their careers, “Zoomers” are putting money into retirement funds at a higher rate than previous generations.
Four out of five Gen Z investors say they began buying stocks, bonds or other asset before they turned 21, according to a survey by the Chartered Financial Analyst and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation. More than half of Zoomers surveyed say they’re invested now. Both of those percentages are significantly higher than what Millennials were saving at the same age.
A similar report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found 66% of Zoomers are putting 20% of their pay into retirement funds. That’s double the amount older generations are doing. To be fair, a significant percentage of workers in their 20s are living at home with their more cash-strapped parents to save up.
Zoomers like (but don’t love) the 401(k) option
Younger employees are more likely to buy and sell stocks via apps. Cryptocurrency is often their first foray into investing, according to the Transamerica survey.
Zoomers aren’t as bullish about company-sponsored plans as older cohorts, though that’s liable to change as more get married and plan to have kids. Transamerica poll shows Generation X (83%), Baby Boomers (82%) and Millennials (79%) are enrolled in their companies’ 401(k) plan. Just 61% of Zoomers currently are.
Could be younger investors would rather buy stocks than park their money in an index fund. Financial gurus frequently tout the wisdom of diversification but they don’t always walk the talk.
For example, 75% of Warren Buffet’s equity portfolio is in five stocks – Apple, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Bank of America and American Express. (For what’s it’s worth, Buffet is especially bullish on Apple.)