Rather than traditional investments like housing and shares in local brands and big banks, Australia’s Gen X and Gen Y investors are looking offshore to high-growth sectors like video-gaming and driverless cars.

Figures seen by news.com.au show Gen X investors lifted their international stock turnover by 91 per cent and Gen Y lifted theirs by 73 per cent in the 12 months leading up to the end of January this year.

The data, compiled by the National Australia Bank’s investor arm nabtrade, also showed younger investors – Gen Y – were more keen to invest in technology stocks in “innovative fields” than older investors.

Nabtrade director of SMSF and investor behaviour Gemma Dale said younger investors typically invested in higher growth assets rather than those that showed reliable growth over time.

“Generally, younger generations have longer investment time frames, which allows them to pursue high growth assets, while Baby Boomers are opting for traditional blue chip names which offer reliable yields and have excellent long term track records,” she said in a statement.

The big stock picks for Gen X investors were Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft and Alphabet, while Baby Boomers opted for Apple and Facebook, as well as more established players like Wells Fargo, Lloyds and Berkshire Hathaway.

Gen Y preferred to invest in technology stocks in innovative fields including Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia and Activision Blizzard, Ms Dale added.

Bond University investment expert Dr Simone Kelly told news.com.au the more risky and high-growth preferences of younger investors were unsurprising.

“It’s pretty straightforward when you look at the risk-return spectrum,” she said.

Generally, younger generations have longer investment time frames, which allows them to pursue high growth assets, while Baby Boomers are opting for traditional blue chip names which offer reliable yields and have excellent long term track records.

– Gemma Dale, Nabtrade director

“Younger people are much more risk-seeking because they have a longer time to recover and are starting off with a smaller amount to invest. They’re looking to accelerate and lever that as much as they can, and it’s not such a great loss if they lose their capital – they can take that risk exposure.”

Dr Kelly said barriers to the property market were among reasons young Australians were looking to more innovative investment options. Awareness of high-growth companies, particularly in the tech space, was also a contributor.

By Stephen Matthews

Source: NZ Herald

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