Older investors may think they know more than the generations before them when it comes to investing. After all, they’ve been around the block and saw firsthand what the stock market can throw at them. But it turns out millennials may be able to teach them a thing a two whether it’s how to pick individual stocks or understand what diversification truly means. (Read more, here: Who Are Millennials and Why Do They Matter?)

Millennials Aren’t Afraid to Invest in Individual Stocks

Take stock investing for one thing. Millennials, or those 18 to 33 years old, aren’t afraid to invest in individual stocks, unlike their older counterparts who have gotten a lot more risk averse. While baby boomers may favor mutual funds or ETFs, millennials are more than willing to choose stocks to include in their investment portfolio. Consider this: according to trading firm TD Ameritrade millennials represented 38% of TD Ameritrade’s new trading accounts in 2015. And while older generations who are investing in individual stocks can sometimes go with recommendations, even if they aren’t familiar with the company, millennials are loyal to their brands both from a spending and investing perspective. That same TD Ameritrade report found some of the brands millennials loved most such as (AAPL) and (GPRO) were their top stock picks last year.

Millennials Are More Diversified In Terms Of Investment Product Type

When it comes to diversifying an investment portfolio one would think the older generations are ruling in this area. After all, they grew up hearing how important it is not to keep all their eggs in one basket and learned the importance of having a portfolio diversified between stocks and bonds. But it turns out that millennials are doing a better job on that front as well. That's particularly true in comparison to investors nearing retirement who have hunkered down, moving into ultra conservative mode to protect what they have amassed. They witnessed countless people nearing retirement see their life savings evaporate when the stock market tanked in 2008 and 2009 and don't want that to happen to them. But that fear is resulting in a lack of diversification as pre-retirees exit the stock market to protect their savings. But since retirement can last more than thirty years, doing that can create a huge savings shortfall in retirement. Without investments that keep pace with inflation, retirees will get less bang for their bucks. Need more evidence millennials are doing a better job of diversifying? Wells Fargo found in a survey this past summer that 82% of millennials are meeting the minimum level of diversification. What’s more, millennials are the most significant users of a Roth 401 (K), with 16% contributing. That compares with 11% of Gen Xers and 7% of baby boomers. (Read more, here: The Importance Of Diversification.)

Technology Is Front And Center In Investing

Technology plays a major role in every aspect of life and for millennial investors, it’s also impacting the way they invest. After all, they have a treasure trove of information at their fingertips that their older investors may not be comfortable with. TD Ameritrade found 35% of millennial investors were using a mobile device to execute trades while 29% prefer web-based trades and 30% are doing it through Thinkorswim, an online trading platform that also offers investor education services. The older generations are much more comfortable with traditional means of investing, which could be costlier depending on the trading and investment fees.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to investing, knowledge is power, but too much of it can sometimes cause someone to freeze. Older investors nearing retirement are much more conservative, fearing they could lose it all by the time they do walk off into the retirement sunset. But that fear is causing them to shy away from individual stocks, hurting their diversification strategy. And while they may not think they can learn from their younger counterparts, it turns out older investors have a thing or two to learn from the younger folk

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