Are millennials into investing?

(Alex Sherwood) #1

This discussion got started when Harley introduced themself as an 18 year old investor here -


Harley you are very clever to have started at 18; I could barely tie my shoelaces at that age.

Introduce yourself :wave:
(Harley-James Orchard) #3

Thanks Rod,I started work pretty early, and due to having very low living expenses and just being frugal in general I built up a fair amount of savings- that were doing nothing for me, thus I arrived to the conclusion saving isn’t enough, so here I am.

(Ashish Raval) #4

Absolutely. Starting early will build good savings and investments helping you retire early. Hope all millenials are smart as you are.

(Harley-James Orchard) #5

Not to play my own fiddle but unfortunately most aren’t. I’m an apprentice, and part of it involves going north for a couple of weeks with other apprentices from my companies other offices, so you think we’d be like minded people; they have such the mentality that things like owning a house is so impossible they spend all of their wages like there’s no tomorrow, add the latest iPhone’s to most of them and shoes costing hundreds of pounds and you can see where all the money goes; so rather than the question for them being how do I make savings work for me, it’s how do I make savings; allowing for the latest accessories as well as going out every weekend. I understand that sacrifice must be made, if I’m to achieve my goals.



If you don’t have a blog, I would encourage you to start one. Your experience may provide invaluable lessons to parents who want their teenage kids to become like you when they leave home, and in time they (parents) may be willing to pay to belong to a community like that.


Interestingly, Vanguard says that of their own customers, 20% of millennials have minimal investment in equities. Now that Vanguard looking at its own customer base, so that’s among millennials who have started to invest something, but it doesn’t say anything about what else millennials are investing in (maybe they’re investing heavily in crowdfunded startups).

But other research (link escapes me) has suggested that financial crises (2008, great depression, etc) tend to put entire generations off investing for a long time. You never go back to the market again if you’ve been burned, or maybe you never even start if you’ve seen your auntie’s pain when her pension pot got cut in half.


When you’re young, I think it is very hard to think about and prioritise things that are very distant and you sense could be important (retirement provision), because you’re already faced with a lot of things that are very present and definitely important (student debt, house purchase deposit etc). Hence: hats off to you @HarleyJamesOrchard

The other difficult thing is that it doesn’t actually get much easier as you get a bit older because people are still facing a lot of money things that are urgent and important, and it is easy to suddenly find that you’re in your forties and have a saving mountain to climb.

(Not that a forum of investment fans needs to be told that today is the best day to start investing.)

(Cameron Chisholm) #9

I’m 18 too, (unfortunately?) introduced to the investing scene by crypto. Had always wanted to invest in stocks etc prior to that but found it too expensive and the capital I had at the time meant that any profit I made was minimal and really not worth the time and effort spent researching and studying the market.

I then stumbled across the r/Robinhood sub, commission free stockbroking? Sure! Downloaded the app and signed up only to find out it wasn’t available in the UK :frowning:

So I googled ‘Robinhood alternative UK’ and came across this article which is how I found out about Freetrade, I signed up for the waitlist then completely forgot about it for a while until I got an email about the R3 crowdfunding on Crowdcube and I was instantly hooked. Freetrade was pretty much my first investment outside the crypto market and boy is it an exciting one and I’ve now invested into a few other startups since then.

My friends aren’t too interested in stocks because ‘they’re only for rich people’, I got many of them into the crypto market but they don’t seem as eager to invest in the stock market so they definitely see a barrier there due to high fees or simply just the stigma around the stock market. This is a barrier Freetrade is breaking down and I can see Freetrade acting as a catalyst for millennial investment into the stock market in the UK.

However, there is a second ‘barrier’ stopping millenials from investing in the stock market and that is the short term ROI. Compared to the crypto market (where a lot of millennials would have had their first ‘investing’ experience), stocks really aren’t volatile at all, that ‘get rich quick’ opportunity is non existent. Millenials don’t want to have capital locked up in the stock market for very minimal gains. This is why I feel it is important that margin accounts are introduced if Freetrade want to maximise their customer base. I’d say millenials are generally more happy putting their money into high risk investments as long as there is a potential for high reward. At this age, I don’t have a mortgage, don’t have to pay bills etc, so I don’t mind high risk investments. With the capital that many millenials are willing to invest (in the tens/hundreds), margin accounts make much more sense.

Furthermore, not offering margin accounts simply means that’s one feature missing from Freetrade that competitors offer.

(Sorry if this sounds like a load of BS, it’s midnight, forgive me)

Anyway, I’m super excited about the future of Freetrade, good luck to the team and all the investors!

(Denislav) #10

Well, it’s good to see that there is someone else around my age! :grinning: :partying_face: I just turned 19 and I have to say that it’s definitely not a normal topic I will discuss with many people my age, the topic of investing. I think I am currently very lucky because I have a job which pays very good for my age and lets me save a good amount of money a month which I can use to invest.

I have always been somewhat interested in investing/shares from around 16 but never got into it until I turned 18 and started to read and research about pension funds. I have not invested any money outside my monthly pension fund because after I did some research I was never able to find which company/stockbroker to use. It just seems to me that they all would charge a great amount of money to use. That was until I found Freetrade :freetrade:

Again, just like many of you, I found out about Freetrade after I was reading about Robinhood in the Guardian. It was disappointing at first to see it was not available in the UK.

@Cam I can definitely understand when you say

Even at work, I have had a few colleagues make comments because they saw me read the Financial Times.

For me, Freetrade knows the WHY of the organisation and its reason for excising which gives me a lot of hope.

“Freetrade is a challenger stockbroker which provides free stock trading to our customers. We’re on a mission to make stock ownership easy, accessible and affordable!”

Now, a company that knows it’s WHY has the power to be something big. Which is why people like me are here, we are not here for the companies WHAT, which is “charging no fees for basic stock trading” but we are here because Freetrade is a “challenger stockbroker on a mission to make stock ownership easy”. Please never forget your WHY. :slight_smile: :heart:

(Harley-James Orchard) #11

I didn’t think there would be many others;I think we should start a group chat for ourselves and other teens.
currently am reading the Intelligent investor, it’s a bit outdated but the core principals are sound. my basic take away so far are:
time in the market beats timing the market
cost averaging
company value

I think at our age the best thing to do (and recommended by the author) is to invest in large, prominent leaders in business for a discount when they fall out of favour- the difference between a large and small company in these situations is the larger companies have the tools to plow through it. Example: after the nike advert the other day there was initial drop, now sales have been announced 31% up. The gains won’t be huge but in early stages just not loosing money is supposed to be one of the most important things.

if you’re interested in a group chat, where we can just discuss things and keep tabs on each others investments let me know.

(Alex Sherwood) #12

I’m a huge fan of Simon Sinek :smile:

(Denislav) #13

A wonderful example where someone can use the market to their advantage. We are lucky because at the moment time is on our side.

Harley, I am definitely interested in starting some group chat between us “millennials” :smiley:

YES ALEX!!! I was wondering if anyone would see where I was coming from. Which is why placed some of the text in bold :smile: I don’t want to derail the topic but after I read his “Start With Why” book he was able to win my loyalty It was like an eye opener! I definitely had a few aha moments. I am going to start reading his other book (Leaders Eat Last) soon. :ok_hand:


His new book out later this year should be interesting:

(Alex Sherwood) #15

Margin accounts certainly are popular and as you say, crypto’s attracted a lot of people to investing for the first time. Some of them have progressed to investing in stocks etc. too which is great. But the recent price drop has burned a lot of cryptocurrency buyers, badly in some cases.

One of the big problems with offering leverage is that it means that users can lose more money than they invest, which starts to look a lot like gambling, with all of the associated issues.

At Freetrade we want to encourage long term investing, whereas leverage is typically used when making short term price predictions. Those are really hard to get right, in fact, most day traders lose money. Some platforms even buy whatever some of their users sell & vice versa because they’ve seen that they typically get it wrong :angry:

We’ve explained margin accounts, leverage & why we won’t be offering them in more detail in this blog post. Following on from that, we don’t consider companies that offer leverage as competitors, it’s just a different way for people to spend their money.

I think that trading being marketed as a get rich quick solution is one of the main reasons why investing in stocks isn’t seen by some as a sensible way to grow their savings. If we can convince people that responsible investing is a good idea, we have an opportunity to introduce lots more people to investing.

As @golden pointed out, “Freetrade is a challenger stockbroker which provides free stock trading to our customers. We’re on a mission to make stock ownership easy, accessible and affordable!”. In other words, our why is really to build a sustainable, open, non-exploitative investing culture - not just another trading company but with superior design and technology.

(Cameron Chisholm) #16

Nice strategy!

Would you consider TSLA as one of those prominent leaders?

Currently down nearly 30% from it’s 52 week high. Need Freetrade to hurry up and launch so I can buy some!

(Harley-James Orchard) #17

I’ve sat inside of a tesla car, and I can say it was the best car I have ever sat inside in my life. Tesla = good. Elon musk = unpredictable in a bad way. Just look at all of the stuff that’s happened recently; pedo lawsuit, head of hr and finance (I think) recently left, smoking weed on Joe Rogans podcast, and the whole funding secured thing which is also leading to a lawsuit. Tesla may seem like a bargain, but your conclusion may be because of my simplification of the author of that books advice. Don’t buy Tesla because you think its cheap right now, look at the company as a whole, find its value for yourself, then decide- history may prove me wrong, but don’t put any more into tesla (or most investments) than you’d be comfortable loosing.


You know, I think I might have said the same when I was millennial-aged (though I know that financial life was easier back then: easier to get on the property ladder, lower student debt). I didn’t have a margin account but I did invest all of my waking hours, a relationship and all the money I had into a startup, which as an investment mostly failed.

But the prospect of a margin account terrifies me now. I think they are dangerous.

The thing that 40-something me would say to millennial me is that you don’t need the leverage and risk of investing in startups or getting a margin account because you already have leverage: time. If you’re about 20, you have around 50 years of investing time. In that time you could easily get rich slowly, and with minimal risk compared to margin accounts.

(For another good example of investing in things with higher volatility and uncertain risk/reward, in that post I linked to immediately above, I said that Ethereum was a +50% winner for me. Now it is a -37% loser. That’s in 2.5 months.)