New Survey Suggests that Traditional Assumptions about Gen Z and Millennial Finances Get it Wrong; Most Want a Financial Advisor and Don’t Trust Social Media Influencers or Robos

Meme stocks have increased interest in investing, but only 2% of Americans trust robo-advisors or social media

New York, NY, Sept. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers may not see eye to eye on much, but when it comes to financial concerns and investing they have a lot in common, according to a new nationwide survey. 

The survey of 3,000 US adults, commissioned by Vise, a technology-powered investment management platform built for advisors, found having an emergency fund (41%) and saving for retirement (36%) are among the top priorities for Americans aged between 18 and 65+. 

The data also showed that all age groups trust financial advisors more than any other source for advice on investing and managing money, and Americans of all ages were more likely to trust a human financial professional over a robo-advisor. 

However, access to different investments and financial advice is unequal. The overwhelming majority of respondents (74%) do not currently use a financial advisor due to fees and lack of trust. 

“It’s time to put an end to unhelpful stereotypes about Millennials, Gen Z and investing,” said Samir Vasavada, Co-Founder and CEO of Vise. “This survey confirms that while there are important differences between generations, there are equally significant similarities, too. Appreciating those will ultimately lead to the type of bespoke investing that best serves the needs of all investors.”

Among the biggest differences between the younger and older generations involved sustainable investing, “meme stocks” and cryptocurrency. The vast majority of Millennials and Gen Z are interested in sustainable investing with many willing to invest sustainably even if it means lower returns. Younger investors - particularly in the 18-24 age group - said recent hype around companies like GameStop and AMC increased their interest in investing (50%), compared to just 11% of people 50-64 years old and 1.5% of those 65 and over. More than one in four members of Gen Z (29%) said they use or invest in crypto, versus 9% of people between 50-64 and 3% of people 65+.

Key Survey Findings:

Americans say they lack confidence in how they invest, do not trust in what they see or read on social media and are unlikely to stay invested during a market downturn.

  • Just one in ten Americans say they feel very confident about investing, with 43% saying they are not confident about investing.
  • Over 65s are the most confident investors, with 59% saying they are very or somewhat confident in investing compared to just 44% of Gen Zs. 
  • Only 26% of respondents say they will stay invested if the market suffers a moderate or big downturn. 
  • Just 2% of Americans say they trust influencers on social media the most for financial advice. 

Americans of all ages trust advisors but many worry about the cost

  • When asked to compare human financial advisors vs robo-advisors, nearly half of Americans (48%) trust human financial advisors - compared to just 11% of Americans who trust robo-advisors.
  • Financial professionals, family, and friends are the main source of trusted information on investing. Americans say they trust advisors the most (34%), followed by family and friends (16%) and traditional Wall Street firms (7%). 
  • The top reasons for working with a financial advisor include reaching financial goals (44%), planning for retirement (34%), and building more wealth (31%). 
  • By far, the biggest barrier for people working with an advisor are concerns about how much it would cost (43%). 18% of people say they wouldn’t work with an advisor because they don’t trust someone else to manage their money and 15% say they wouldn’t because they are confident in their own ability.

Americans are interested in sustainable investing, but they’re still figuring it out.

  • Half (50%) of Americans say they are interested in sustainable investing but just 16% currently invest sustainably. 
  • Nearly seven in 10 - 67% - of Gen Z and 60% of Millennials are interested in sustainable investing. Close to four in ten - 37% - of Millennials and 35% of Gen Z are also willing to invest sustainably even if it means lower returns. 
  • The biggest barrier to sustainable investing is knowledge, with one in three Americans saying they don’t know enough (28%). Americans are also concerned about poor performance (13%) and cost (13%).


The survey was fielded on the YouGov Direct platform. Three thousand US adults ages 18 and older were surveyed on September 1, 2021 between 2:07pm and 5:26pm eastern time. Data is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults 18 and older in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.1% for the overall sample. 

About Vise

Vise is a technology-powered investment management manager built for advisors. Founded by Samir Vasavada and Runik Mehrotra, Vise gives financial advisors the tools they need to grow their business and help clients achieve their goals. This includes building and managing customized portfolios and providing intelligent insights to clients on each investment decision. By empowering advisors, Vise advances its mission of creating financial freedom. Vise is headquartered in New York. For more information, visit


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