A survey of 2,872 people examining the investment behaviors of those with investment accounts and those without, has found that a surprising number of Gen Z investors began investing long before their millennial and Gen X counterparts, with nearly 74 per cent saying they own at least one investment. Notably, their habits are significantly different when compared to the clients you may be typically serving today.

Conducted by the CFA Institute and the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation), the survey found that 79 per cent of Canadian Gen Z investors began investing before they turned 21. “One-in-four, 24 per cent, of Canadian Gen Z investors began investing before they were 18, compared to 12 per cent of Canadian millennials and only nine per cent of Canadian Gen X investors,” the report states.

Of those surveyed, 41 per cent in the U.S. and Canada cite fear of missing out, or FOMO as a factor in their decision to start investing.

In Canada, more specifically, investors were motivated by curiosity 71 per cent of the time and by the ability to start investing with small amounts 62 per cent of the time. Of those surveyed, 51 per cent of Gen Z investors say having a parent or other family member interested in investing was a motivator.

The CFA Institute says those who have started investing have done so thanks to a range of factors, including the ability to access financial information.

“While social media and investment apps are making it easier for Gen Z to access financial information, there are still barriers preventing many Gen Zs from getting started with investing,” the report states. “This includes a lack of financial education.” They add that 56 per cent say a lack of knowledge is a barrier to investing. Top financial goals stated by Gen Z investors in general include having enough money to travel or go on vacation. In Canada, 55 per cent also say being able to pay monthly bills was their top concern.