Most Americans believe today’s children will be poorer than their parents, Pew finds

Gen Z
  • The economy might finally be rebounding from the pandemic, but not for everyone.
  • A new Pew Research Center survey found that respondents think kids will be worse off than their parents.
  • Younger workers have already been hit by at least one recession and a pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The economy might be picking up, and people are growing a tad more optimistic, but many still think economic wounds will have a long-lasting impact.

A new Pew Research Center survey found that across 17 publics including the US a majority of respondents think kids will be financially worse off than their parents. Across everyone surveyed, a median of 64% were pessimistic about childrens’ financial futures.

That number was higher for US respondents, with 68% saying they think that kids will be financially worse off. However, respondents in France and Japan were even more concerned, with 77% of respondents in both countries saying that they think kids will be financially worse off.

Another generational wealth gap

As Insider’s Hillary Hoffower previously reported, there’s already a wealth gap between boomers and millennials. The older generation has benefited from everything from low interest rates to investments in companies that bolster pollution – a problem that will exacerbate the climate crisis and its strain on the younger generation.

That’s on top of the Great Recession already leaving millennials behind when it comes to wealth accumulation; as Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reported, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that millennials earned 34% less than they would have had there been no recession.

Plus, the past year has brought yet another recession. This time, younger workers were again pummeled. According to a report from the International Labour Organization, workers ages 15-24 saw employment losses of 8.7%; among adults, employment loss was broadly 3.7%. That report warned that Gen Z, which has dealt with education cut short by the pandemic and a recession during their entry to workforce, was at risk of becoming a “lost generation.”

As Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reported, Gen Z was the most unemployed generation in the wake of pandemic’s economic devastation. However, some hope may be on the horizon: Gen Z will still take over the economy in a decade, Hoffower reported, despite the pandemic potentially making them lose out on $10 trillion in earnings.

On the whole, a median 52% of respondents in the Pew survey – and 71% in the US – still think that the current economic situation is bad. In New Zealand and Australia, respondents were more optimistic, with over 70% of respondents in both answering that the economic situation is good.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to tell if you’re a geriatric millennial

geriatric millennial
Geriatric millennials are familiar with both old and new forms of communication.

  • The term “geriatric millennial” divided the Internet this spring in a viral Medium article.
  • The author spoke to Insider about why it both resonated with and offended readers.
  • She also shared the hallmarks of a geriatric millennial and how they straddle the workplace’s digital divide.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Author and leadership expert Erika Dhawan never expected the term “geriatric millennial” to go viral.

A self-identified geriatric millennial (which she defines as elder millennials born in the early 1980s), Dhawan told Insider she first heard the term at brunch with friends and related to it. But when she wrote about this micro-generation’s influence in connecting older and younger generations in the workforce for Medium this past spring, it quickly went mainstream and divided the Internet.

While many, like Dhawan, related to the term, others were offended by it.

“I think that the fact that the word ‘geriatric’ carried such a negative connotation really also has the question: What’s wrong with being old?” she said. “The way that individuals reacted, I think should encourage all of us to start a reflection on how we view older members of our society.”

Dhawan said she’s spent a decade investigating, researching, and finding new ways to encourage collaboration and communication in the workplace, which she explores in her new book, “Digital Body Language.” She said that while interviewing American workers, she found that some micro-generations were “impossible to ignore.”

She said that geriatric millennials are unique because they straddle a digital divide between older and younger generations in the workplace, which enables them to bridge communication styles.

The hallmarks of this micro-generation aren’t meant to exclude younger millennials who may have experienced them as well, she added.

“What it’s really meant to do is pinpoint a specific moment in time where the digital tools were primitive and where we were coming of adulthood,” she said. “We can look at all millennials as being the same, but there are differences based on our experiences at different life stages.”

Meet the typical geriatric millennial, according to Dhawan.

You were born in the early 1980s, making you in your mid-to-late 30s or early 40s.

A woman wearing a blue top and white jeans is working on her living room floor with colourful toys next to her.
A mother works remotely in the same room as scattered children’s toys.

Dhawan defines geriatric millennials as those born from 1980 to 1985. That means they’re turning ages 41 to 36 this year. 

But age is just one component. “Micro-generations are not simply just the years you were born, but, the strongest indicator is really how you use and engage with technology,” Dhawan said. 

 

You remember PCs, the days of early dial-up, and MySpace.

classic pc

Whereas younger millennials don’t know a world without digital tools as a primary form of communication, Dhawan said, geriatric millennials remember when they were very primitive.

“They were the first generation to grow up with a PC in their homes. They joined the first social media communities on Facebook and MySpace. They remember dial-up connections, collect calls, and punch cards,” she added.

They also remember things like Napster for burning CDs, as well as the regular flip phone. “Those that are maybe two to five years older than us know truly a world of, you know, mobile phones and never had to memorize people’s phone numbers for landline,” she said.

 

 

But you also feel comfortable on TikTok and Clubhouse.

clubhouse app

While geriatric millennials are fluent in the early days of the internet and digital technology, they’ve also been able to easily adapt to newer forms of digital media, like TikTok, which may be unfamiliar to older generations like baby boomers and commonplace among younger generations like Gen Z.

“This is a unique cohort that straddles digital natives and digital adapters,” Dhawan said, adding that they’ve spent the same amount of years in both analogue and digital forms of communication, making them fluent in both. 

 

 

Despite your digital skills, you’re also aware of the importance of personal communication.

professional woman conversation

Geriatric millennials also remember the importance of traditional body language, Dhawan said. “The lean-in, the direct eye contact … those are critical traits, even in our digital world.”

That means they’re comfortable with communication styles of boomers and Gen Xers, she added, while adapting to the the communication style of younger, digital native millennials and Gen Z.

“It’s critically important to keep adapting to the times while, remembering the importance of physical, face-to-face communication,” she said.

 

You act as a bridge in the workplace.

workplace

Dhawan believes that being skilled in both digital and personal forms of communication enables geriatric millennials to serve in a hybrid role in the workplace.

For example, she said, a geriatric millennial would know to send a Slack message to a Gen Z co-worker instead of calling them out of the blue, which they might find alarming. But they would also know to be mindful of an older co-worker’s video background and help walk them through such technology.

“They can help straddle the divide,” she said. “They can teach traditional communication skills to some of those younger employees and digital body language to older team members.”

She likened the geriatric millennial’s role to being a translator, akin to learning a new language in a new country. “They can cater to the needs of different people and have different degrees of understanding of the digital world, but also they have a patience for the digital world that maybe future generations won’t because they don’t know a world without it.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

TikTok wants to be LinkedIn for Gen Z, launches TikTok Resumes for video job applications

TikTok resumes

TikTok launched the pilot program “TikTok Resumes” on Wednesday, hoping to connect Gen Z to job openings at major companies like Chipotle, Shopify, Target, and Alo Yoga.

The program is only accepting video resumes for a limited time, with applications open through July 31.

As of this year, there are more Gen Z users on TikTok than on Instagram– over half of the app’s user base is younger than 24 years old. Comparatively, only 19.3% of Linkedin users belong to Gen Z.

Statistic: Distribution of LinkedIn users worldwide as of April 2021, by age group | Statista


Find more statistics at Statista

TikTok users have already been using the platform as a tool for sharing career advice as well as providing tips for job openings, interview etiquette, and resume-building advice, Insider’s Aleeya Mayo reported.

CareerTok is already a thriving subculture on the platform,” Nick Tran, Global Head of Marketing at TikTok, said. “We can’t wait to see how the community embraces TikTok Resumes and helps to reimagine recruiting and job discovery.”

“Interested candidates are encouraged to creatively and authentically showcase their skillsets and experiences, and use #TikTokResumes in their caption when publishing their video resume to TikTok,” the company said.

Participating employers include Chipotle, Target, WWE, Alo Yoga, Shopify, Contra, Movers+Shakers and more.

The program launch comes amid a nationwide labor shortage that has left companies across industries struggling to hire enough workers.

You can access the TikTok Resumes program in the app through #TikTokResumes or at www.tiktokresumes.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Over half of young adults plan to use their pandemic savings on buying a home, which could worsen the housing crisis

house
Millennials and Gen Z are planning to use their pandemic savings on buying a house.

America may be running out of houses, but young adults are continuing to set their sights on homeownership.

More than half of them (59%) said they plan to use their pandemic savings on a down payment for a home, according to a recent Zillow survey that polled over 1,200 millennials and Gen Zers. It was the most common answer beyond using their savings for everyday living expenses.

“Even in an unprecedented global pandemic, homeownership still appears to be a priority and aspiration among the sometimes called ‘rent forever generation,'” the report reads.

The survey found that 83% of young adults reported saving money in at least one category during the pandemic. This cohort found themselves on the upside of the millennial wealth gap that the pandemic exacerbated.

Lower-income millennials who were already contending with an affordability crisis had little to fall back on as they experienced job loss and pay cuts. But a higher-earning group with stable income was able to save and invest money they would have otherwise spent in non-pandemic times.

Two financial advisers told Insider last June their high-net-worth millennial clients were tucking away excess cash, as much as $3,000 a month in some cases, which normally would’ve been spent on brunches or plane tickets.

Read more: Millennials are getting screwed again by their 2nd housing crisis in 12 years

The extra cushion helped them drive the 2020 housing boom – more millennials became homeowners than any other generation that year. Millennials are turning ages 25 to 40 in 2020, meaning many of them are entering prime homebuying years.

Interest rates hit a historical low in 2020, making it easier for those with enough money saved for a down payment to buy a home. But the combination with the year when many were working from home soon led to a cutthroat housing market, marked by a historic housing shortage and lumber scarcity which both propelled housing costs to several record highs. That has resulted in bidding wars nearly everywhere nationwide, with competing bidders throwing down all-cash bids and higher and higher down payments.

Many millennials able to snag a house did so by paying above market price, while others saw homeownership pushed further out of reach as housing prices skyrocketed and morphed into an inventory crisis.

As Insider’s Ben Winck reported, the lumber shortage has largely made it too expensive to for builders to construct more homes. Housing starts fell nearly 10% through April after surging the month prior, signaling supply won’t bounce back all that soon. Lumber has come down somewhat since from its super-expensive level, though.

Considering that millennials have just reached peaked homebuying age, and some Gen Zers are already househunting, young adults will be driving the housing market for years to come. This survey suggests that wealthier members of both generations will put their pandemic savings toward down payments, so the unequal housing boom may not abate any time soon.

Whether they will be able to find an available house is another question.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meme mania pushed Gen Z into the stock market – and now they’re learning investing fundamentals from TikTok and Instagram

TikTok General View phone stock market readouts
Getty Images

  • 41% of Gen-Z investors use social media to educate themselves on investing, Fidelity said.
  • People in Gen Z who are interested in investing often turn to TikTok and Instagram first before going to family and friends.
  • Many Gen Z individuals were prompted by recent meme-stock mania to start learning about investing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Gen Z was “awakened” to investing amid the meme-stock mania this year, and now they’re turning to social media for advice.

A new report from Fidelity showed more than half of Gen Z-aged people surveyed made a trade in the first three months of 2021 when the meme-stock craze took hold, with GameStop leading the way. Now, the generation of young adults aged 18-24 is wanting to educate themselves, and they’re turning to social media sites like TikTok and Instagram for help.

About 41% of Gen-Z investors use social media to educate themselves on investing, the survey showed. That’s more than their older counterparts, with 38% of Millennials and 25% of Generation X using the platforms for advice.

Kelly Lannan, Fidelity’s vice president of young investors, said social media is the most likely place Gen-Z investors turn to first when seeking advice. After that, they most likely seek advice from people close to them before going to financial services platforms.

“Good or bad people are still turning to social media,” Lannan told Insider in an interview.

Whether it’s TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram, “We want to be there, so we can make sure that we are doing our part in ensuring that Gen Z is getting the right information, and they’re not just listening to someone who wants to be famous on these platforms,” she said.

Nearly half of Gen Zs surveyed said they’re feeling more educated to motivate themselves on trading and investing. “That’s a really good thing if people are starting to ask questions and engage more with their finances,” Lannan said.

The investing side of TikTok, better known as “StockTok,” is blowing up, and the hashtag “#investing” has garnered more than 2.8 billion views. Many of the videos are centered around advice and education. Some provide useful tips while others miss the mark.

For young investors, stocks are the most popular, with growth and dividend stocks being the most popular, and meme stocks closer to the bottom of the pool, according to a recent survey from the Motley Fool.

Even so, many Gen Zs started learning more about the stock market when an army of retail traders mobilized on Reddit’s Wall Street Bets poured into GameStop along with other so-called meme stocks to drive a short squeeze. About 58% of the young group said it was “more excited” to learn about the stock market following the meme-stock market volatility, the survey showed.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This 19-year-old climate advisor who started her own nonprofit and worked on Greta Thunberg’s youth strikes spends her days meeting UN officials and grabbing pizza with friends

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Sophia Kianni.

Days are busy for Sophia Kianni, a climate activist and founder of the nonprofit Climate Cardinals.

Much of her work centers on the climate crisis, a topic she has been interested in since visiting Iran, her parents’ homeland, seven years ago and discovering her extended family knew nothing about the subject.

Launched in May 2020, Climate Cardinals translates information about the climate crisis into over 100 languages, including Swahili, Bulgarian, Mongolian, and Portuguese. Kianni, 19, had realized that most of the research was in English but that most people in the countries most affected by the climate emergency don’t speak English.

Climate change is a global issue that disproportionately affects communities that don’t speak English,” Kianni told Insider. “It’s critical to translate climate information into as many languages as possible to make sure that these mostly-minority communities are informed.”

Kianni made headlines in 2019 after joining the activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future to organize climate strikes and protests with high-school students. She became a national strategist for the group and a partnership coordinator for the environmental advocacy group Zero Hour.

Last year, Kianni was named a spokesperson for another climate-crisis organization, Extinction Rebellion.

She’s also a climate advisor at the United Nations and the American Lung Association; a board advisor for the tech startup CommunityX and the charity EarthPercent; and a senior partner at the Gen Z marketing firm JUV Consulting.

When she’s not working, she’s studying public policy and environmental science at Stanford University.

Kianni was hailed as one of Vice’s humans of the year in December. She was selected as a National Geographic Young Explorer and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis tweeted about her advocacy.

Kianni broke down what a typical Friday looks like, including taking meetings with UN officials and getting pizza with friends.

She wakes up around 5:30 a.m.

Kianni wakes up in her home in McLean, Virginia, and eats breakfast: a banana, a homemade rice pudding, and a protein shake. She styles her hair, packs her computer and a few professional blazers for her meetings, and checks her calendar to see what her day looks like.

Sophia Kianni Day In the Life
Kianni heading to Union Station.

On this day she headed to New York City to visit the UN and JUV’s headquarters. Last year, all of Kianni’s events were virtual, but since being vaccinated she’s been traveling to attend meetings in person.

“My relatives in Iran knew very little about climate change because there’s very little information available in Farsi, which is their native language,” Kianni said. “The United Nations only provides climate information in six languages that account for less than half of the world’s speaking population.”

Kianni, who is bilingual, began translating articles about the climate crisis from English to Farsi and sending them to her family via WhatsApp. Last year, she decided to further her work by launching Climate Cardinals, where she and 8,000 volunteers translate climate information and upload the documents online for anyone to access.

Climate Cardinals also works with organizations such as Unicef and the UN Environment Program.

At 7 a.m., her friend’s mom picks her up

Her friend is also headed to New York City, so they take the train together. Kianni lives about a 30-minute car ride from the nation’s capital. She and her friend arrive at Union Station at 8 a.m. and buy bagels as they wait to board their train.

Once seated, Kianni reads “The Martian” by Andy Weir, a science-fiction novel that was made into a film starring Matt Damon in 2015. “My friends and I have a mini book club,” she said. Now that school is out for the summer, she said, “I have time to read again.”

Still on the train, she virtually attends a UN meeting at 10 a.m.

Kianni calls into a UN meeting with Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN secretary-general’s envoy on youth, and six members of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

Kianni was invited to join the group last summer as the only US, Middle Eastern, and Iranian representative – and its youngest member. As part of the group, Kianni attends meetings with António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, and gives him advice on things like which UN documents to translate and when to emphasize environmental racism.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni.

During the call, they all give updates on their projects. In December, the group published a report outlining six key actions young people wanted world leaders to take regarding the climate crisis.

“Our generation is going to be disproportionately affected by climate change,” Kianni said. “There is a need for young people to be involved in decision-making spaces, so we can really convey the work we’ve been doing for the past few years.”

Next she answers emails

Kianni coordinates speaking engagements and confirms her attendance for an ocean-conservation gala in Washington, DC.

Kianni also goes over updates from Climate Cardinals, which has chapters in over 41 countries.

As she’s just transferred to Stanford from Indiana University, Kianni posts an introduction message in the Stanford 2025 Facebook group to connect with classmates. “It’s a great success,” she said. “Students from Stanford follow and direct messages to me on Instagram.”

At noon she arrives in New York City

Kianni walks from Penn Station to her hotel to drop off her luggage, then takes the bus to the UN building in midtown. She’s greeted by Esther Agbarakwe, a UN program officer.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni at the UN.

They head to the office of Selwin Hart, a special advisor to the secretary-general on climate action.

Kianni said that in the beginning she was a bit nervous about meeting big names. “But now I really believe that I belong at the table and that my voice is important to UN discussions,” she said. “I’m no longer nervous but more so excited to share my experiences and perspective on climate justice.”

Sophia Kianni Day In the Life
Kianni and Selwin Hart, a special advisor to the secretary-general on climate action and the assistant secretary-general for the climate-action team.

Kianni and Hart discuss strengthening the UN’s commitment to youth participation and the role of young people in advocating the delivery of the $100 billion that countries pledged in 2015 to help combat the climate crisis.

“You really need money in order to fund the infrastructure needed to have a sustainable transition away from fossil fuels,” Kianni said, adding that it was “critical” to prioritize frontline workers. “We need to make sure they can now work in the clean-energy sector.”

After the meeting, she goes on a brief tour of the UN building.

At 2:30 p.m. she heads to her next job

She walks to the nearest bus station and heads to JUV Consulting’s headquarters to meet the rest of the senior executive team.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni visiting colleagues at JUV Consulting.

Cofounded in 2016 by Ziad Ahmed, 22, the firm works with over 20 Fortune 500 companies on everything from major research projects to full-scale marketing campaigns. Last summer, Kianni applied to work at JUV as a consultant, and she was promoted to junior partner before becoming a senior partner in January.

At JUV she advises clients on social media and sustainability and how to use TikTok to reach Gen Zers.

After meetings, the team takes a break. “We make some fun TikToks and also head to the rooftop to have coffee and enjoy the beautiful weather,” Kianni said.

At 4 p.m. she meets with friends

She walks across the city to meet up with some friends at Madison Square Park.

Kianni says she walks everywhere because it’s better for the environment and more affordable than pricey Uber rides in New York.

“Honestly, I got a blister after a few days ’cause I was walking so much,” she said.

She walks back to the hotel at 6 p.m.

Back at the hotel, Kianni takes a nap before continuing work. She schedules a Zoom call with a BBC reporter about the climate emergency and a call with a new JUV client.

Around 8 p.m. she meets up with another friend. They walk to an Italian restaurant and order a margarita pizza.

Finally, around 10 p.m., it’s bedtime

Kianni walks back to her hotel to answer a few more emails.

She texts her younger sister to help her find a prom dress. Kianni scrolls through TikTok and Instagram for 20 minutes before she gets drowsy and falls asleep.

On Monday she’ll head back home and continue to do it all virtually.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How leaders can better support their burned out Gen Z staffers, according to a psychotherapist

Gen Z worker
Gen Z workers have reported mental health challenges during the pandemic.

You might expect older generations to be the most stressed out from the pandemic. After all, COVID put them at the highest risk for serious illness or even death. But it turns out, Gen Z may be experiencing the greatest mental health challenges right now.

Despite being digital natives who are used to working online, the under-24 crowd has experienced significant psychological distress during lockdown. Consequently, younger workers may need more support than employers anticipate.

A large chunk of their time in the workplace has been spent staring at their digital devices. Integrating into the workplace – or reintegrating – may be a little more difficult for them since they have a lot less experience than older generations.

Research shows work and money are the biggest stressors

At Verywell Mind, we began researching the state of mental health in America last month, and are reporting on the shifts and trends we’re witnessing over time.

Findings from our first survey indicate that Gen Z respondents are the most stressed out generation right now, and their biggest sources of stress are work and money.

Gen Zers who responded to our survey also reported more symptoms of depression, such as difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, and feelings of hopelessness.

Given their psychological distress, it’s important for employers to provide some much needed support. As these young workers finish their education and step into the working world, a little extra attention could go a long way toward helping our future leaders.

Provide stress management resources

Gen Z is just learning about the workplace. And their view of work is skewed since many of them entered the workforce during the pandemic.

Provide ongoing information about stress management. Whether that means having more conversations about this during one-on-one private meetings or it means offering free classes that teach skills, like yoga or meditation, incorporate stress management strategies into the workplace.

Gen Zers could also likely benefit from information on work/life balance (daily life and busyness was the third biggest source of stress). Many of them have been working remotely during the pandemic which may make finding balance tough. Educating them on how to set boundaries with work so they can enjoy free time can go a long way toward preventing burnout.

Give ongoing mental health support

Despite the higher rates of distress, our survey showed that Gen Z respondents were less likely to say that society would be better off if more people saw a therapist. They’re also concerned about the stigma associated with therapy.

Ongoing conversations about mental health in the workplace, however, could change that.

Offering an EAP might make therapy more accessible to them since they’re more likely to be strapped for money for therapy.

Bring therapists into the office to provide occasional workshops or informational sessions. This may teach them about mental health issues, local resources, and ways to get help.

They may benefit from learning about how to build mental strength, improve their emotional intelligence, and address workplace issues in a healthy way.

Offer financial incentives and clear opportunities for advancement

Since Gen Z workers are most worried about work and their financial futures, provide clear opportunities for advancement. If they understand what’s available to them and how to get there, they are likely to feel more secure in the workplace, as well.

Additionally, they may be very motivated by financial incentives. Offer financial incentives for reaching their goals or exceeding their expectations.

When you help them reduce their distress and improve their mental health, you’ll be improving their lives. You’ll also help free up their mental energy to focus more on work and worry less about their financial security.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I used Robinhood, WeBull, and Public for the first time. They all have their advantages, but WeBull outshines the competition with its resources for new traders.

robinhood gamification trading app 4x3
  • I opened brokerage accounts with three trading apps this week and compared the experience of using each.
  • Robinhood by far has the best looking app. But if you want more resources to help you make investing decisions, use WeBull.
  • Robinhood launched in 2013 and is now seeking to go public. WeBull and Public both launched in 2017.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Robinhood launched in 2013 and quickly gripped new and young investors wanting to try their hands at retail trading.

The trading app, which is seeking to go public with a valuation as high as $30 billion, had about 13 million users at the end of 2020.

But the app came under intense scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators, and customers after it halted trading of GameStop as retail traders drove up the stock price to all-time highs in January.

Some have said the app makes investing too much like a game, as others complained of market manipulation amid the GameStop frenzy.

The situation has allowed competitors to muscle in.

WeBull, the Chinese-owned brokerage that launched in 2017, said it saw a 16-fold jump in new account signups following the Robinhood backlash, Bloomberg reported at the time. Meanwhile, Public, which also launched in 2017, has doubled in size year-to-date with more than 1 million users.

These trading apps are all competing for attention from Millennial and Gen Z investors alongside more established brokerages, like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and others.

For this story, I downloaded each of the three apps to compare the user interface, the variety of features, security, and the educational resources, to see which one came out on top.

The bottom line? Robinhood was hands down the most enjoyable to use and interact with, but WeBull came out on top with readily available data and resources to help me improve my investing strategies.

My view as a first-time retail investor

I will start by saying I’ve never done this before. I started my professional journalism career at Bloomberg and am now the Millennial Investing reporter on the markets team at Insider. Those roles come with strict rules on what I can and can’t do in terms of investing.

For example, I write a lot about meme stocks like GameStop and AMC. If I were to invest in one, that would be a conflict of interest and would land me in hot water with my employer. Besides contributing to a 401(k), I’ve stayed away from any other investing.

To open accounts with each of the apps, I had to answer a lengthy list of questions, from my investment experience to a lot of personal identifying information, and then input my banking information. This experience is standard across all services.

Though I did not claim the offer, all of the apps I tested award users one free stock as a perk of signing up.

Also, importantly, all of these services are commission-free. This is the case for both stocks and crypto on Robinhood and WeBull, while Public does not offer crypto trading at this time.

Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 36 dirt-cheap small- and mid-cap stocks that will soar as the global economy reopens and inflation heats up – including 5 expected to surge at least 60%

IMG 8230.PNG
Screenshot from Public app

I see why Robinhood has been described as “gamifying” investing. The app is well-designed and exciting.

My retail investing journey began with Robinhood. I got the go-ahead to transfer exactly $1 to my new brokerage account to invest in an exchange-traded fund. I chose the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, which trades under the ticker VOO.

With $1 in buying power, I received .002602 shares, the app said. I swiped up to submit the purchase. It said my order was completed and showed me a summary.

When I clicked “Done,” a full-screen graphic appeared saying, “Congrats on making your first trade, Natasha!”

IMG 8248.PNG
Screenshot from Robinhood app

As someone who writes about markets for a living, this was extremely fun. If I’d had more than $1, I would have clicked the shiny green button on the bottom that read, “Continue your journey” to buy more.

I started to understand how young people could become addicted to an investing app.

Public made the buying experience just as easy. Instead of the bright white-and-green color scheme on Robinhood, Public has a sleek black-blue-and-white design.

I easily found the Vanguard ETF, input my $1 of buying power, and clicked “confirm.” No confetti, but it was straightforward and easy.

IMG 8251.PNG
Screenshot from Public app

WeBull was more of a challenge. I transferred my $1 from my bank account only to discover the app doesn’t offer fractional trading, meaning I had to buy a whole share, which would have cost $386.91 as of 2:45 p.m. on Friday.

The discovery was a let down. I would either have to find an ETF trading at $1, which does not exist, or transfer more money for something more expensive.

I decided on a single share of the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF, trading under the ticker symbol XLF, for $37.54.

After transferring more funds, I hit the blue “trade” button on the ETF’s main page, input the quantity as 1, and hit “confirm.” It brought up a receipt page that read “working” and would allow me to cancel or modify my order in the meantime. Again no fireworks, but a relatively simple process.

WeBull has everything a young investor would need – except fractional trading and a fun user interface

If you overlook the lack of fractional trading, which can be a great way for investors to own otherwise prohibitively expensive stocks, WeBull felt like the most serious investing app. Here’s why.

First of all, it had the most security features. I opted to set an unlock pattern for each time I open the app. On top of that, when I decide to go into my brokerage account within the app, I have to enter a six-digit pin.

It felt like bank-level security, which is something I found important out of a broker that has all of my personal information and bank account details.

Robinhood and Public have security features, too, just not as many. Robinhood requires my phone passcode each time I open the app. On Public, I opted to turn on the face-ID feature for more security.

WeBull also provided the most market data.

Though the deluge of data meant the app wasn’t as sleek as Robinhood, it also meant I had more access to important information before investing.

IMG 8265.PNG

That’s not to say Robinhood and Public don’t have market data. They do (on Robinhood investors can pay $5 for a subscription to market research and level 2 data), but neither app has near the amount of information WeBull provides up front.

In terms of educating young or new investors, WeBull also wins. The app regularly sent me messages with how-tos on investing and explainers on topics like initial public offerings.

16930
Screenshot from WeBull.

There wasn’t much for educational resources within the Robinhood app. Public offered some. All three gave access to relevant news articles.

WeBull also had a social media feature, where users can share their views and investments.

Public, though, has a much more visible social aspect, and markets that as a selling point. Its slogan is “Public makes the stock market social,” and it recently launched a live audio feature, similar to that of the Clubhouse app.

Among the apps, investors have to choose among a sleek and exciting platform with Robinhood, a less sleek yet more informational app in WeBull, or a social-media driven platform in Public.

Overall, my experience would lead me to choose WeBull if I was in the market for a trading and investment platform.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AMC surges past $30 Friday amid blistering five-day rally bolstered by Reddit

AMC empire 25 NYC
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 15: General view of atmosphere outside the AMC Empire 25 theater on March 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

  • AMC Entertainment rallied as much as 34% at Friday open, continuing a five-day hot streak.
  • The stock surged past $30, the highest in years.
  • AMC stock price has tripled this week amid renewed hype from retail traders.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of AMC Entertainment resumed their blistering rally Friday, skyrocketing more than 30% to surge past $30 – the highest price in years.

As of Friday, AMC has been on a five-day hot streak amid hype from retail traders on Twitter and Reddit, causing the stock price to triple since the beginning of the week. The shares reached a high of $36.35 Friday. Short sellers have taken a major hit.

On Twitter, the hashtags #AMCSTRONG, #AMC500K, and #AMCAPES have been trending. Meanwhile, on Reddit’s Wall Street Bets forum, AMC was the most talked-about stock, according to HypeEquity data. Retail traders posted familiar phrases like “diamond hands” and “to the moon” in reference to the stock’s continued rally.

AMC stock gains have caused major losses for short sellers with short interest in the stock at 21%, according to MarketBeat data.

With Thursday’s rally alone, AMC shorts lost more than half a billion dollars, data from market research and data firm ORTEX revealed.

Meme stocks, popularized by retail traders on Wall Street Bets, rallied broadly this week, with gains in GameStop, Virgin Galactic, BlackBerry. and relative new favorite, Beyond Meat, all rising.

The meme stock rally this week has left short sellers with $2.76 billion in losses from GameStop, AMC and Virgin Galactic, ORTEX said.

The rally in AMC shares began early in the week when the company’s once largest shareholder, private Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, sold nearly all of the rest of its stake. Redditors cheered the newly available shares, saying the company was now theirs.

Bloomberg reported that the share rally might help AMC pay off its $10 billion in debt, as investors suggest the theater chain should sell more shares to pay down or refinance.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cryptocurrencies are overtaking meme stocks in discussions on Reddit as retail traders seek quick returns

The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency
The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency. INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Cryptocurrency is taking over Reddit threads, and meme stocks are going to the back burner, according to figures from market data firm Quiver Quantitative.

The data, shared with Insider, found comment volumes on the r/CryptoCurrency subreddit jumped 82% this month, while the number of comments on r/WallStreetBets sunk 25%.

In further contrast, on Friday the cryptocurrency forum had about 36,000 daily comments, while Wall Street Bets had just 13,000.

Cryptocurrencies went on a wild ride last week as a multi-day selloff caused the price of ether and bitcoin to plummet, along with altcoins such as Dogecoin. The selloff stretched into the weekend, but on Monday and Tuesday, the price of bitcoin began to recover.

The number of comments in r/CryptoCurrency hit the highest point in the month last week with 59,000 in just one day.

Though Wall Street Bets came into the spotlight earlier this year amid the GameStop frenzy and ballooned to more than 10 million followers, the forum forbids users from discussing cryptocurrency. The guidelines say, “No Pump & Dump, Crypto Discussions, Schemes or Scams.”

The cryptocurrency thread, however, says it’s the “leading community” for discussion, news, and analysis on the topic, with nearly 3 million members.

Retail traders, known to flock to Reddit to discuss markets, want to invest “in a narrative,” Quiver Quantitative founder James Kardatzke told the Financial Times, adding that, “crypto is having a lot of volatility and more interesting storylines,” than meme stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment, currently.

In a May 24 note, JPMorgan analysts said “more financially vulnerable demographic groups,” like millennials and younger, “have larger relative exposure” to the crypto market. The analysts cited a statistic from 2019 which showed the group owned about a third of the $1.6 trillion market at the time.

An April survey of 1,400 investors aged 18 to 40 from the Motley Fool found 47% of Gen Zers and 39% of millennials own cryptocurrency, making it the third most popular type of investment after stocks and mutual funds.

Read the original article on Business Insider