Millennial gold rush: Young adults investing in metals, cryptocurrency amid COVID-19 uncertainty

NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and it’s anyone’s guess as to just how much worse things will get. Its impact on the global economy poses an equally worrisome mystery. With so much uncertainty surrounding jobs and money, many young investors are looking for whatever sure thing they can find. A new report reveals millennials are leading the rush to buy gold and cryptocurrency stocks as the virus spreads.

A survey by MagnifyMoney finds one in six consumers is investing in gold or other precious metals over the last three months. The poll of over 1,000 Americans adds that nearly a quarter are seriously thinking about buying gold.

Feeling secure with gold

Researchers say millennials, 24 to 39 year-olds, are making 21 percent of these stock purchases during the pandemic. They are closely followed by members of Generation Z (18 to 23 year-olds) and Generation X (40 to 54 year-olds). The survey finds only five percent of baby boomers are buying metals right now.

Gold has a storied reputation for being very stable and resilient, regardless of how the stock market turns. Seeking a secure place for their money, nearly 30 percent of Americans say investing in gold is safer than stocks. Although it’s stable, 35 percent still believe buying precious metals when the economy is down is a bad idea.

Men are more likely to make an investment switch, outnumbering women buying metals 3:1 amid the pandemic.

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Taking a chance on Bitcoin

Young people are also going digital in an effort to make money during the stock market’s rollercoaster ride. Three in 10 Americans who now own Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are millennials.

Nearly the same number of 40 to 54 year-olds are also investing in the trendy virtual currencies. Members of Generation Z make up 25 percent of these purchases.

Despite the rush into cryptocurrency, these young investors know they’re taking a big risk. Researchers find 29 percent believe buying crypto is actually less safe than buying stock. Over 40 percent say both are risky in this economy. Just 15 percent of investors say Bitcoin and other digital money is a safer investment.

Fears about the future

After a devastating downturn at the start of the pandemic, the U.S. economy continues to build itself back up to its 2019 levels. With COVID-19 still a concern, many Americans have doubts about their post-pandemic futures.

The poll reveals 27 percent of the country is considering shifting their retirement funds into metals or cryptocurrency. A third of Generations X, Z, and millennials are all thinking of making a change to their retirement savings plans.

On March 23, the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed to 18,591 as the pandemic began. As of July 23, the DOW stands at 26,652. Investors now wait to see which way the market turns as the world searches for a vaccine to COVID-19.

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