Younger investors are often underserved by advisors due to their low level of assets, which may often below the minimum requirement of most firms. PwC last week noted that the industry risks losing a generation of potential clients should it ignore millennials.
The TD survey found that while 18% of Gen Y investors said that they learned about savings and investments on their own, 27% said that a parent or family member taught them about savings and investing and 23% reported having an advisor.
The study found that young people are investing earlier and are often more financially savvy than their parents. The average Gen Y investor reported making their first investment at age 20. In contrast, previous generations waited to make their first investment until closer to 30, with Baby Boomers holding off until 27.
"Despite the perceived Gen Y plight, we're seeing young investors take action early on when it comes to planning for their financial future," said Cynthia Caskey, vice president and portfolio manager, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice.
"While family support can certainly help shape good financial habits, millennials face a very different financial reality than their parents did. An advisor can help cut through the confusion and develop a plan tailored to Gen Y's specific goals and unique challenges."
In the past 12 months, the average proportion of income invested by members of Gen Y was 18%, the study found. In an ideal world, they reported that they would invest 29% of their income and hope to be investing a similar amount (30%) in 10 years' time. Millennials were also more likely than Baby Boomers to say they would increase the proportion of their income invested if the stock markets improve, with 35% and 15% respectively.
The index found that retirement planning and saving to buy a home were top of mind for Gen Y. Even with balancing student debt loads and managing expenses, 50% of Gen Y investors said retirement was their top investing goal, followed by buying a home (44%), travel (43%) and achieving financial independence (42%).