If you feel like you’ve seen a dozen articles about how millennials
and the next generation beneath them don’t trust the stock market, it’s
probably because you have. This is a very common topic of conversation
in investing circles these days, and while there’s some data to
suggest it’s an overblown point, the underlying idea still makes some
sense. Wary of market corruption, tight on finances in general, and in
many cases having seen their parents struggle through a recession,
young people do often have a certain distrust for conventional styles
of financial management and investment. It’s only natural that many in
this category will seek alternatives to the markets, and we’ve
certainly seen them doing so.
In the near future though there will be even more alternative investments made all the more readily available by technology. Most of them already exist even if we’ve yet to see them blow up as popular opportunities – and most of them at least appear to be fairly risky propositions. Nonetheless, there are some alternative pseudo-investments we would expect to see young people gravitating to more in the next few years.
1 – Cryptocurrency
By the time of this writing, a few months into 2019, it’s pretty much universally accepted that cryptocurrency investment is a hit-or-miss prospect. Some got wealthy in the 2017 boom; others lost quite a lot of money trying and failing to ride the wave. And since the resulting crash, cryptocurrency has been difficult to project and, all in all, weaker. However, its long-term potential still exists, and seemingly as a result a report just a few months ago indicated that millennials are sticking with cryptocurrency. Right or wrong, many young people with money to invest appear to trust cryptocurrency not as a sure thing, but as a means of alternative investment moving forward.
2 – Startup Equity
It may seem lazy to suggest that Shark Tank, the popular CNBC show, might influence investing philosophies. At least among its American audience, however, and among young people who don’t want to buy stocks, it may be doing just that. We’ve seen a steady rise in apps and online platforms designed to help average people buy into startup businesses and products, either in exchange for favorable deals or equity. It’s a small-scale, independent form of venture capital investment, and it appeals to a lot of young people, even if it tends to be a very risky proposition.
3 – Betting Markets
Many would scoff at the very idea of listing betting in a piece about investment. However, because betting sites have migrated into U.S. markets as a result of the lifting of a federal ban on sports betting, it’s something to consider. This will represent a new opportunity for Americans, and it stands to reason that a lot of young people who will be exposed to related sites and apps, and who often have close ties to sports, entertainment, and politics (all of which have betting listings), will start making bets. This should not be looked at as something that is as responsible or predictable as market investment, but this isn’t about what’s strategic so much as what’s likely. We’ll at least see some treat this like an alternative form of investment.
4 – eSports
This category is a little more uncertain, and can almost be tied to some degree to the idea of investing in startup equity. However you look at it, the eSports industry is booming, with lots of growth potential remaining. Some expect it to be as big, widespread, and lucrative as the “major” American sports in time, which indicates that getting in now, in one way or another, could pay off in a big way. There are lots of ways to make money in eSports, from hosting or streaming events, to buying into companies and teams, to gaming yourself. Between them, it’s a safe bet that young people are going to devise new investment opportunities and chase them enthusiastically. Whether or not it’s a good decision is an open question at this point.