Self-directed investing continues to grow, with research released today by CommBank showing that – contrary to their reputation for being a generation of spenders – 43 per cent of millennials are investing their money, with property and shares revealed as the most favoured investments.

This trend is mirrored in new account openings at CommSec, with over one million new share trading accounts opened since the start of the COVID pandemic in February 2020. Millennials accounted for almost two thirds (63 per cent) of all new accounts – up from 52 per cent pre-COVID.

This record level of activity is also underpinned by the latest online investing survey from Investment Trends, which found Australia is now the world’s third largest self-directed investment market after the USA and Germany.

CBA’s Executive General Manager Commsec, Richard Burns, said millennials were driving an unprecedented rate of new account openings.

“With CommSec continuing to provide the market leading value proposition for investors and experiencing huge growth in new account openings, it’s no surprise this research supports the growing interest of millennials in investing,” he said.

“We are seeing a behavioural shift from this younger demographic of investors. 71 per cent are using CommSec’s leading mobile platforms for trading and there is strong demand for global exposure with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and International equities proving to be a popular starting point for investment. Female investors are also growing in number and increasingly turning to CommSec Pocket to start their investment journey, accounting for 44 per cent of total new account openings – up from 31 per cent pre-COVID.”

Investors have turned in record numbers to CommSec as the market leader to deliver on their desire to build their wealth, Mr Burns added.

“Low cost investing apps like CommSec Pocket make it easier for millennials and new starters to get into investing and its range of clear ETF themes enable individuals to align their investments with their interests. CommSec Pocket has gained 300,000 account openings since launching in July 2019 and almost $1billion has been invested through the app - with 80 per cent of new accounts holders under 40 years of age.

“We’re also continuously empowering and supporting these younger investors with CommSec Learn, a free bite-sized online learning resource that provides a 101 in how to invest. In response to growing customer interest and questions, we’ve just launched two new topics – International Markets and ETFs,” he said.

According to the CommBank research that explores the attitudes and habits of Australian millennials towards their personal finances, 45 per cent of millennials listed property as the most appealing investment option, while 38 per cent prefer to invest in the stock market.

Key findings of the generations surveyed in the CommBank study:

  • 43 per cent of millennials are investing to create wealth so they will be financially independent
  • 45 per cent of millennials favour property investment, closely followed by investing in the stock market (38 per cent)
  • 26 per cent of millennials are adding more money to their superannuation – with 16 per cent frequently checking their super, and 38 per cent occasionally reviewing
  • 86 per cent of millennials want to have more open discussions about investing their money, with 50 per cent of those wanting to discuss investing in the stock market, 45 per cent in investment and 43 per cent in superannuation.
  • Men are more likely than women to say they would like to have more open discussions about investing in the stock market (54 per cent compared to 45 per cent)

Note to Editors: 

This CommBank study was conducted online by YouGov Galaxy during April 2021 using a sample of 1,002 people across Australia. Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the sample. Results were post-weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.