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According to the findings of a new survey, teens are still more convinced that the stock market is where they should invest, despite the fact that crypto is more popular than alternatives such as real estate.
In the high-octane GameStop era, researchers attempted to examine North American adolescent opinions of the stock market, cryptocurrency, and other investments. The findings revealed that cryptocurrency outperformed other asset classes such as real estate, with 25% of teens stating they would invest in crypto if given hypothetical funds, compared to 24% in real estate.
About 43% remain convinced that the best bet would be to invest their funds in the stock market, yet a large share — 37% — said they’d refrain from investing altogether.
These results were drawn from a survey jointly conducted by Junior Achievement and RSM US in mid-July of this year among a small sample of just over 1,000 teens aged between 13 and 17 years old. 39% of respondents who had closely followed the GameStop saga agreed with the idea that investing in the stock market is a great way to make a quick buck, with 20% judging trading stocks to be too risky overall. Nonetheless, 40% continue to believe that stocks can be advantageous as a long-term investment.
The survey’s leaders have stated that they hope to reestablish trust among teens that investing in the stock market is truly in their best interests, as well as to temper any negative perceptions they may have after witnessing the fate of GameStop’s retail investors — as opposed to hedge funders — during the short squeeze. According to Jack Kosakowski, the president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA:
“These results show that the recent ‘meme stock’ phenomenon could be having an adverse impact on teens’ perceptions of what it means to invest in the stock market. Given the fact that the stock market plays a major role in helping countless Americans achieve a secure retirement, it’s important that we help demystify it for the next generation.”
Junior Achievement and RSM have been trying to change teens’ impressions by promoting pro-stock market educational programs, including simulated stock market experiences and a curriculum designed to clarify the basic tenets of investing. The challenge they face is that, according to the results of their survey, a vanishing majority — 51% — of teens said they believe the stock market is “‘a good thing’ for ordinary people.”
As previously noted, an increased reliance on speculative investments has become visible among Millennials struggling to make ends meet in an era of reduced earnings, an uncertain job market, and prohibitively expensive real-estate prices in many areas of the world.
In contrast to Junior Achievement’s takeaways, Lee Han Koo, an economics professor at Korea’s University of Suwon, argued earlier this year that the difficult socioeconomic environment has fueled a “desperate” perception among many young people that day trading represents a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to break out of their insurmountable financial precarity.