A report published by brokerage giant Charles Schwab has shown that millennials, currently aged 25-39, prefer to invest in products tied to bitcoin over equity in some of the world’s largest companies.
The report, published this week, showed that millennials have a higher holding in Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) fund than in Netflix, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, and Alibaba. The report includes data collected from roughly 142,000 retirement plan participants with balances between $5,000 and $10 million. Data is extracted quarterly on all accounts.
Among the top 10 equity holdings of millennials, GBTC came in fourth place with 1.84%, falling behind only Amazon’s 7.87%, Apple’s 6.18%, Tesla’s 3.22%, and Facebook’s 3.03%.
Source: Charles Schwab
The GBTC is a product launched in 2013 by Grayscale, a Digital Currency Group subsidiary. It was initially only available as a private placement for accredited investors, but in 2015 it received approval to be offered as publicly traded shares. It lets investors gain exposure to BTC without having to manage private keys.
While GBTC is a popular holding among millennials, the report also showed it didn’t make it in the top 10 equity holdings of Gen X (aged 40-54) and baby boomers (aged 55-75), highlighting generational differences in investment preferences. These two generations’ top three holdings were Apple, Amazon, and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
The average account balance for all participants in Q3 of this year was over $276,000. While baby boomers’ average balance was $394,000, the average balance of Gen X retirement plan holders was $213,000. Millennials’ average balance was $68,750.
Millennials also allocated a larger percentage of their portfolios to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) at 24%, than did Gen X at 20% and baby boomers at 17%.They also hold more cash than other generations’ investors.
Iso far, every attempt to list and trade shares of a Bitcoin ETF has been rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with one of the latest rejections hitting the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust.
The SEC’s disapproval order pointed out the disapproval shouldn’t be taken to mean that Bitcoin or blockchain technology have no merit as “an innovation or an investment.” It noted the SEC disapproved the Bitcoin ETF over concerns regarding fraudulent or manipulative acts in the cryptocurrency market.
It’s worth pointing out previous studies have shown millennials have been investing in cryptocurrencies. An eToro survey from earlier this year showed over 70% of millennials were looking to invest in crypto offered by institutions, while research from British legal firm Michelmores LLP showed 20% of wealthy millennials invested in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
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