What do Millennial investors think of gold?

Goldhub blog

What do Millennial investors think of gold?

Louise Street
Market Intelligence
World Gold Council

Posted:

An article on Kitco recently asked whether Millennials will ever ‘get’ gold.

Our consumer research suggests they already do.

In 2016, we interviewed 8,000 retail investors in four of the largest gold bar and coin markets – 2,000 each in China, India, the US and Germany. The data shone a spotlight on the all-important ‘Millennial’ population1 – exploring their attitudes and behaviours towards a range of investments, including gold.

The results were surprising.

When we asked each respondent how they would invest a gift of $1,000, Millennials showed exactly the same preference for gold as older investors: 16% said they would buy gold bars and coins, while 6% said they would opt for gold-backed financial products (such as ETFs). The preference for gold bars and coins varied by market, with German and Indian Millennials showing the greatest aspiration to invest in these products (19% in each market).

And a more recent global investment survey by Legg Mason (2017) showed that US Millennials were the most likely to view gold as an attractive investment: 34% selected it as one of their top three ‘best opportunities’ over the next 12 months, compared with 23% of the overall population.2

 

Investment aspiration of global Millennials is in tune with the wider population

(% who would invest in each if given $1,000)

 

We conducted another piece of research in 2018, which surveyed 4,000 retail investors in predominantly Muslim markets to investigate attitudes towards – and perceptions of – Islamic investing.3  The survey found that, in general, young millennials (aged 21-25) were an engaged group of investors, who were more likely to see gold-backed ETFs and gold investment accounts as long-term investments than investors in older age groups.


This group is far more digitally connected than older investors, and more likely to scan online forums and blogs for their investment ideas. The most effective way to connect with this investor group is therefore likely to be through these types of channels. India is making strides in this arena with the development of platforms such as PayTM Gold, PhonePe and SafeGold, encouraged by the government’s push to move digitise India’s traditionally cash-based economy. 


But while Millennials arguably do seem to ‘get’ gold, the better question to ask may be whether the gold industry ‘gets’ them. And we will be able to do just that later this year. Our latest large-scale consumer research will reach 12,000 retail investors across six different markets: India, China, the US, Canada, Germany and Russia. We will report on the results in H2. This unprecedented survey will give us unparalleled insights into global investor attitudes and allow us to train our eyes on the Gen-Z/Millennial contingent. We will unearth information on how well gold meets their investment needs and what they perceive as the barriers to investing in gold. These insights can be used by the trade to better cater to the needs of these younger potential gold investors.

 

[1] Millennial investors were those aged between 18 and 34 at the time of the survey.

[2] services.leggmason.com/static/html/en/features/gis/2017/data-tables/gis-results-usa.pdf

[3] We surveyed 1,000 retail investors Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. For more information, see www.gold.org/goldhub/research/gold-islamic-finance-retail-investor-insights