Young Investors reveal long-term financial goals

RBC Poll surveys 18–34-year-old investors in a bid to outline their financial outlook

Young Investors reveal long-term financial goals

Despite widespread belief, young investors do worry about money.

In an RBC Direct Investing Insights Poll conducted on 1,530 investors, with 529 investors aged 18 to 34, young investors want to bust the myth by saying that they aren't all going online for rapid, short-term gains. Contrary to popular assumption, they do have long-term objectives and consider investing as a means of achieving such objectives. Furthermore, they are less confident in their ability to invest than their parents believe, and they do not believe they know everything.

There has been a surge in young individuals in this age group entering the field of self-directed investing since the onset of COVID-19. In fact, nearly half (48%) of DIY investors are in the 18 to 34 age group, according to the RBC Direct Investing Young Investor Insights Poll from 2022.

From the study, it was revealed that 85% invest to achieve long-term financial objectives. Eighty-six per cent believe that DIY investing is a critical component of their long-term financial security; two fifths (39%) believe that investing will help them achieve their goals now and in the future, and one fifth (20%) say they know what they're doing when it comes to investing.

“When so many young Canadians joined the ranks of self-directed investors, a number of misconceptions followed them,” said Lori Darlington, President & CEO of RBC Direct Investing. “Their responses to our poll show they aren’t all jumping in and out of the market, looking for instant gains – they’re investing for the long term.

During the pandemic, nearly half of the new clients who joined RBC's online brokerage were under the age of 35, according to Darlington. “We anticipate this generational shift will continue, as more young people seek to take control of their financial future.”

People want to be in charge of their financial destiny. Among the young DIY investors polled, 77% enjoy the challenge of researching and 87% acting on what they learn. They also referred to their self-directed investments as a significant aspect of their long-term financial objectives (87%) and future financial security (86%).

“We were also encouraged to see how many of these young adults want to learn more about investing,” said Darlington, noting that RBC’s online brokerage provides extensive resources, including in-depth, third-party research and analysis, for both new and more experienced investors.

Darlington also points out that today's youthful investors have had a need for financial information for years, as indicated in their responses to a different poll question:

What financial advice do you wish your parents' generation had given you?

"The most common reaction was 'How to Invest,' 'How to Save', 'How to manage day-to-day spending while still saving for the future', 'How to manage debt', and 'How to budget'.

“If today’s young investors can teach all those how-to tips to the generation which follows them, they’ll be setting that next generation up early for financial success,” Darlington said.