Tesla for Younger Investors, Apple for Middle-Aged, and General Electric for Older

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When it comes to investing in popular stocks, not all generations behave the same. For instance, only about one in ten Tesla (TSLA) shareholders is of retirement age while more than a third of General Electric (GE) owners are 65 or older. 

These findings come from Openfolio, a free community that allows users to track their investments against their peers. We surveyed the portfolios of its pool of tens of thousands of investors to learn about how age affects stock choices. One thing we are interested in is what average investors are holding. For buy and hold investors, this may be even more insightful than what traders are trading.

It may come as no surprise that Tesla skews young, but you might be shocked to learn that Google (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) skew a bit older and that Apple's (AAPL) largest holding group is Generation X, 35-to-49 year olds. (See chart below.)

When users join Openfolio, they share their portfolio and other bits of information such as age. Using this data, we looked at the ten of the most popular stocks on Openfolio: Alibaba (BABA), Amazon (AMZN), Apple, Bank of America (BAC), Disney (DIS), Facebook, General Electric, Google, Microsoft (MSFT) and Tesla. 

The key message? People buy what they know and like.

A few observations that might confirm suspicions, or, in some cases, raise eyebrows:

Tesla:Tesla is by far the most popular stock with investors under the age of 35. This is interesting because younger generations may not all be able to purchase a Tesla Model S, but they can buy shares of Tesla stock.

Disney: Walt's empire is doing very well with the under 25 crowd. Could the success of the Marvel movies franchise, lead by the popular Avengers film series, be a contributing factor?

GE: GE, A 124-year-old company, is three times more likely to be in the portfolio of an older investor than a younger investor. While GE may no longer be a growth stock, it still pays a very healthy dividend. If reinvested, this makes for a competitive proposition.

Facebook: Now that the whole family is on Facebook, does that make it less attractive for younger investors? Facebook is the second-least popular on a relative age basis among the under 25 crowd. 

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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