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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Millennials increasingly taking advantage of investing in ISA products

There has been a 39% jump in the amount of trades made by people aged 18-36 using Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) in comparison to this time last year, according to research from The Share Centre.

Younger people more confident investing ©Shuttertock
Younger people more confident investing ©Shuttertock

In addition, the amount of money being invested has been increasing by 57% year on year, going towards both steady FTSE100 companies, and smaller higher risk investments.

Although male millennials are currently most active in taking advantage of the tax-free products, there has been a 20% increase in the number of trades made by younger women in the last year.

The Share Centre, investment research analyst, Graham Spooner, said: “The data analysed indicates that there seems to be no middle ground for millennials.

“Generally, as a group they are becoming more adventurous with their spending, perhaps indicating the adage of their generation, ‘you only live once’ is coming through to their investing portfolios.

“Millennials are investing in well-known, recognisable and income generating FTSE 100 companies and then going straight to the other end of the spectrum and punting on much more extreme smaller and higher risk companies.”

The research involved analysing data based on the number of trades made by millennials in ISAs between 1 January and 21 February 2016, and the same period of time this year.

It was found that there has been a 60/40 split between the top ten traded companies invested in by both genders so far in 2017, favouring small companies – demonstrating an increased appetite for higher risk.

Male millennials are tending to opt for companies in the mining and commodities sectors, while females are more likely to invest in a diverse range of smaller companies, such as gold miner Centamin and the Card Factory, although it is expected that these high-risk strategies are unlikely to last.

“As is life, millennials will one day be considered ‘middle-aged’ and may perhaps begin to question whether this strategy will continue to pay off.

“When thinking about their future, and of course if they decide to move towards a more balanced portfolio, I would suggest that mid-cap companies could be the answer.

“As the blue chips of the future, mid-caps could provide millennials not only with growth potential but the element of risk that they are clearly craving, without going to the extremes.”