In the past few years, there has been a surge of online platforms and mobile apps that make investing in the stock market more accessible to average investors, and, in many cases, younger people. In fact, my 13-year-old son recently told me he wanted to start buying stocks. While beginning to invest at an early age can be great for the long-term, one of the potential downsides is knowing where to start and how to navigate the overwhelming amount of information available online. For novice investors, it can be challenging to sift through what is a reputable education source and what isn’t. I find myself wondering:
- Are these young, new investors researching as much as they should be?
- Are they listening to good information?
- Are they making the right decisions?
- Are they taking on way more risk than they should?
A recent CNBC poll found that social media is the most popular outlet for investment research for young retail investors. While many advisors and investment firms use social media to connect with clients, much of the information found on social media is not from practicing professionals making it challenging to know if the information is reliable, sound advice. Young investors should research companies and investment options using reputable tools or websites rather than just what is posted on social media. Well-known news sites, financial literacy organizations or content from your local registered wealth management expert may be a better place to start.
It is important that these young investors “vet” the advice they’re seeing. It can be helpful to consult parents, family members and trusted adults. At Girard, we serve as wealth advisors for many families which includes acting as a source of financial information and education to our clients’ children. Younger generations can ask their family for advice on how to get started in activities like investing, but it is often helpful to have a third party provide insight. As a parent, you may want to consider if your advisor is able to cater to more than one generation. This can mean looking for a wealth management firm that has a diverse demographic of advisors who are able to identify with, understand and cater to the wide range of individuals in need of financial insight.
Education is an important component of a good wealth advisor relationship. This education can include resources for novice investors and family members who aren’t typically part of the core advisor relationship. With so much information available on the internet and access to investing easy with mobile apps and online sites, it is particularly important to ensure younger generations have the tools and advice they need to make smart decisions.
At Girard, we are committed to providing educational resources. If you are interested in how we could help guide your family, contact us to explore what we have to offer.
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. The information in this article, and any opinions expressed therein, do not constitute a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any security or financial instrument. Viewers should consult with their financial and/or legal professionals before making any financial decisions.
GirardSM is a marketing name used by Univest Financial Corporation to provide (1) investment and wealth management, fiduciary services and trust services through its subsidiary Univest Bank and Trust Co., (2) specific fiduciary and investment advisory services through Girard Advisory Services, LLC (3) securities products, insurance products and brokerage services through Girard Investment Services, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and (4) investment management and related products and services to Pennsylvania municipal entities through Girard Pension Services, LLC.