When we look back at 2021, there’s no question that the definition of an “investor” has been redefined. The word “investor” no longer is perceived to only apply to high net worth individuals—it applies to people of all ages, demographics, wealth stages, and levels of financial expertise who are participating in the markets from the palm of their hands around the world.
Throughout the pandemic, people made the most of their time at home—spending, saving, borrowing, and investing through digital channels. Next-gen consumer experiences and digital financial services have coalesced into a powerful force, and with newfound tools for financial wellness in the pockets of emerging global investors, we can undoubtedly say: This is the decade of the digital investor.
To gain a better understanding of global trading behaviors, we aggregated data from more than 15 million customers around the world who trade fractional shares of U.S. equities through our platform.
Key findings from the report
- Account openings continued: Account openings through our embedded finance platform grew 241% since January 2020, with a 12% increase in 4Q21 alone.
- Younger generations are leading the charge: 80%+ of new accounts were opened by Millennials and Gen Z. The number of trades placed on our platform by Millennials increased 78% year-over-year and accounts opened by Gen Z grew 20% in 4Q21 vs. 3Q alone.
- Consistency is king: Investors showed consistent engagement with household names throughout 2021. Tesla, Amazon, Apple, and AMC Entertainment were the top traded symbols across all generations.
- Fractional investing has become the norm: Trade sizes trended lower and 94% of trades made through our platform had a fractional component in 2021. Within the year, average trade sizes fell approximately $20 from the first to second half as fractional investing became a habit.