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Navigating uncertainty: Australian young adult investors and digital finance cultures

Consumer behaviour Financial markets Financial services industry Investments Sector regulation Australia

As investing becomes more accessible for younger investors through emerging digital products and services, industry groups and regulation bodies are concerned about increasing numbers of inexperienced young adults starting to invest. Responses to these concerns have focused on media regulation and better financial education to address financial literacy gaps and reduce harm from financial losses. However, these interventions may be misdirected or inadequate without understanding the experiences and needs of young adult investors.

In April and May 2021, researchers undertook five focus group discussions with 21 young adults, aged 19 to 30 years to examine:

  • How and why do young adults in Australia invest in the stock market?
  • How do young adults understand risk in the context of investing and finance?
  • How do young adult investors learn about finance and investing, and how do social media, digital trading platforms and other technologies influence learning about investing?

Key findings:

  • Young adults understand that investing on the stock market comes with risk.
  • Young adults were focused on their financial independence and security for the future.
  • Young adults learn about investing and finance through their personal networks and by participating in digital finance cultures.


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