The next generation of tech-savvy, connected investors are ripe to enter the stock market … but will they? This group of “recession kids” has seen what the stock market did to their parents’ retirement funds and are taking a conservative approach when it comes to investing, with only 11 percent of Gen Z believing that the stock market is the best way to save for retirement 1. With their spending power increasing, the question remains: will these digital natives engage in the stock market?
TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD), is helping to teach the next generation about investing through its TD Ameritrade U program. For years professors have been using TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim trading platform as a way to introduce students to the stock market and experience what it’s like to invest. Already in more than 100 colleges and universities, today TD Ameritrade U is launching new tools, resources and automated registration to support the growth and scale of this already successful initiative.
“Technology has changed the way younger generations receive and consume information as well as how they engage with others,” said Nicole Sherrod, managing director, trader group for TD Ameritrade. “One way we are trying to help is by providing award-winning * technology as teaching tools to professors through our university network. This program allows students access to the thinkorswim trading platform where they can conduct research, place paper trades and manage positions. And because mobile is so important to this group, we made sure the program is entirely accessible via mobile devices so students can access real-time information whether it’s in their classroom or their dorm room.”
TD Ameritrade recognized that schools have shrinking budgets and wanted to help provide students with a realistic experience for what investing in the real world looks like. TD Ameritrade U was created to give students and professors trading tools via the thinkorswim trading platform at no cost. Students and professors use the paperMoney® feature in thinkorswim which allows users to simulate trading in real environments.Sherrod adds, “Our hope is to build loyalty with a generation that is hesitant about investing 1 in the stock market and financial service firms so that when they graduate and start making money, they reflect on the fact that our brand helped them extract greater value out of the learning experience.” Research shows that investment and financial education at the college level have more of a long-term impact than those lessons that are taught in high school. 2 Why? Perhaps in part, because college students are vested in learning about money - they pay rent, tuition, cell phone bills and are often dealing with financial aid. Taylor Jolin, recent graduate and founder of the student investing club known as the Trojan Trading group, uses the thinkorswim platform at the University of Southern California and agrees there is a need for this type of program. “Since launching the Trojan Trading group last fall, there has been incredible interest and engagement in our program. We now have more than 85 members and have between 50 to 100 students attending each of our events. I think more and more students are realizing how the program can help prepare them to manage their personal finances after college.”