Financial Fitness

Where Are Young Americans Focusing Their Wealth?

Millennials and Gen Z are as likely to own cryptocurrency as they are real estate

A new Policygenius survey shows younger Americans are also more likely to try viral “hacks” and turn to social media for financial advice. View the complete report here.

NEW YORK, April 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — When it comes to wealth, younger Americans — specifically millennials and Gen Z — have some catching up to do, especially considering adult members of these generations own just 74 cents for every $1 of wealth that baby boomers owned at the same age.

New data released today shows that together Gen Z (ages 18-26) and millennials (ages 27-42) are almost equally likely to own cryptocurrency (21%) as they are to own real estate (20%). They are also more likely to try financial “hacks,” often popularized on social media. In fact, 62% of the members of these younger generations have tried at least one of the six financial hacks we asked about in the survey, with the “no spend challenge” the most popular with Gen Z (21%) and almost two in 10 millennials (19%) having tried extreme couponing. Only 36% of Gen X (ages 43-58) and baby boomers (ages 59-77) have tried any of the financial hacks — maximizing credit card rewards was the most popular hack for these generations (21% and 19% respectively).

The 2024 Policygenius Financial Planning Survey found that the feelings different generations have about their finances vary greatly as well, with around three-quarters of baby boomers (78%) saying they feel at least somewhat proud of their finances, compared to 70% of millennials and 64% of Gen Z.

The survey also found that:

  • Gen Zers are more likely to own cryptocurrency (20%) than they are to own stocks (18%).
  • 14% of Gen Z have tried “infinite banking” — a term for borrowing against the cash value of a whole life insurance policy.
  • Gen Z and millennials are more than twice as likely to turn to social media first with a financial question (8%), compared to Gen X and baby boomers (2%).

“Younger generations store their wealth differently than their Gen X and boomer counterparts, including novel investments like cryptocurrency. This could show a bigger willingness to take risks with their money, but it could also reflect obstacles they can’t control, like the growing housing shortage,” Myles Ma, Certified Personal Finance Counselor at Policygenius, said. “Buying a house may be out of reach at the moment for many, but taking big financial risks isn’t necessarily going to help. More time-tested options — stocks, bonds, life insurance — will serve you better in the long run, especially if something happens to you and your loved ones need the financial coverage for their living expenses, like paying a mortgage or college tuition.”

 

 

 

Methodology
Policygenius commissioned YouGov to poll 4,063 Americans age 18 or older. The survey was carried out online from Oct. 16 through Oct. 19, 2023. The results have been weighted to be representative of all U.S. adults. The average margin of error was +/- 2%.
About Policygenius
Policygenius, a Zinnia company, is a one-stop insurance platform that makes it easy to compare and buy policies, get unbiased expert advice, and manage an insurance portfolio in one seamless digital experience. Alongside the intuitive enterprise technology solutions and insights offered by parent company Zinnia, an Eldridge business, Policygenius is helping create better end-to-end insurance experiences for shoppers, advisors, and insurers alike — and enabling more people to protect their financial futures along the way.