Millennials Add More to ETFs than Other Generations

A Charles Schwab self-directed brokerage account (SDBA) report found that Gen Xers and Baby Boomers allocated less to their exchange-traded funds (ETFs) than the younger age group. 

Despite having the lowest participating percentage (11%) for self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs), a Charles Schwab report found Millennials allocated more (23%) to their exchange-traded funds (ETFs) than any other age group for the second quarter of 2018.

According to the Charles Schwab SDBA Indicators Report, 19% of Generation X and 16% of Baby Boomers added more to their ETFs. Additionally, 16% of Millennials saved more cash than 13% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, respectively.

Millennials didn’t reign in every category, however. The Charles Schwab report discovered Baby Boomers hold 3% of their portfolios in fixed income, with Gen Xers coming in second (1%) and Millennials at 0.5%. Baby Boomers allocated an average of 39% of their portfolios to mutual funds (which defended their title as the largest holding in all accounts) followed by Gen Xers (36%) and Millennials (32%). Equities came in as runner-up in leading holdings, as 30% of Gen X portfolios were allocated to them, 29% of Baby Boomers and 27% Millennials.

Top equity holdings ranging across all generations included Apple, Inc.;, Inc.; Facebook, Inc.; Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.; and Netflix, Inc.; among others. Concerning ETFs, U.S. Broad Funds were widely used, as the report found the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF; SPDR S&P 500 ETF; and Vanguard Total Stock Fund; average in the top five ETF holdings.

Additional findings included popularity in mobile trading, with Millennials and Gen Xers more likely to utilize the platform (19% each) than Baby Boomers (14%), and top balances, which went to Baby Boomers at an average of $365,561, then Gen X at $194,534, and Millennials at $61,916.

For the second quarter of 2018, average SDBA balances within all age groups was $265,902, a 1.5% increase from the last quarter, and a large 23% from 2017’s second quarter.

More information about the report can be found here.