Understanding Gen Z's financial habits and investment trends in the US
February 28th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Understanding Gen Z's financial habits and investment trends in the US

As the oldest members of Gen Z enter adulthood and start to build their wealth, their financial habits and investment strategies will shape the future of the financial industry. To cater to this young and tech-savvy demographic, brands need to be tuned into the latest trends and preferences in the finance world. In this article, we'll explore the key finance and investment trends among Gen Z, and what brands can do to engage this emerging market.

Data from YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence tool, reveals that less than a tenth of the nationally representative US adult population belongs to Gen Z (8%). Among this demographic, one-fifth have a personal monthly discretionary income of less than $125 (21%), while nearly the same have a monthly discretionary income between $125 to $499 (22%). Companies seeking to engage with this audience may need to consider offering cost-effective financial services and investment products that fit within their limited budgets.

Our data further suggests that the majority of Gen Z rely on recommendations from friends and family to find an insurance policy, making them 10 points more likely than the general population (42% vs 34%) to do so. They are also more likely than all US adults to check out the websites of banks or other financial advisors when on the lookout for insurance. Insurance service providers may want to consider leveraging referral programs to encourage satisfied customers to recommend their services, while banks may wish to think about improving their cross-selling of insurance to this group. As a tech-savvy generation, having a strong online presence and user-friendly digital tools seems to be very important to reach Gen Z.

Two in five adult Gen Z individuals who are primary decision- makers or one of the primary decision-makers for purchasing financial and investment services plan to take out investment products in the next 12 months. Common stock is the most popular choice, with a fifth of respondents planning to invest in it (19%). Other popular choices include US Treasury bonds, notes or bills (12%), real estate investments (12%), and life insurance (9%).

Interestingly, a sizable proportion of respondents (37%) do not plan to take out any listed investment products. This presents an opportunity for financial services companies to focus on education and outreach efforts to help this demographic better understand investment products and build their confidence in making informed investment decisions. Companies that offer beginner-friendly investment products with low minimum investments and fee structures may also be well-positioned to attract and retain Gen Z customers who are just starting to build their investment portfolios – even if they have only small sums to spend. 

Explore our living data – for free

Discover more banking and insurance content  here

Want to run your own research? Run a survey now

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles