Wall Street invests in Gen Z
Future. New fintech platforms are wooing Gen Z to Wall Street, from gamifying stocks to turning the act of investing into a communal experience (like sharing a TikTok). And like the attitudes fueling the Great Resignation, young investors are looking to park their money in companies that share their values. Call it a vibe shift in the financial industry — the next class of investors may be turning retail trading into a form of social activism.
While platforms like Robinhood, Public, and Acorns are popular among Millennial and Gen Z investors, new fintech platforms are taking cues from social media to further tap into the young market.
- Staxx, which will be available this spring, recently raised $1.6 million and allows users to send each other payments in the form of stocks. Users can also see what their friends are investing in (although the amount invested is hidden).
- Alinea raised $2.3 million to build out its Instagram-like platform, which lets users share “playlists” of themed investments, such as “Black empowerment, LGBTQ+ empowerment, women-led companies, and combating climate change.”
These apps are especially geared toward female retail investors, who have been “turned off by Robinhood’s video-game-like feel” — a criticism widely lobbied at the platform. Not that Robinhood is suffering because of that — it’s still the top investing among app Gen Z, according to a survey by Jefferies Group.
The rise of these youth-skewing platforms reflects the changing definition of what is “cool” on Wall Street.
- Younger investors are looking at a company’s goals in carbon neutrality, equality, and integrity before investing.
- They’re also looking to use platforms that are aesthetically pleasing, put a premium on “values-based investing,” and help create community.
And with Gen Z having some $360 billion in disposable income last year, it’s no wonder that traditional banking and investment firms such as UBS and JPMorgan Chase are acquiring or pouring money into youth-focused fintech startups. Last year, funding in the space hit a record $14.6 billion — most of which was in the U.S.