If you ever sat behind your computer watching the market hysteria of the last 18 months and jokingly asking yourself whether or not "investors" bidding up meme-stonk garbage and obvious frauds were drunk, the answer is apparently "yes".
At least, that's what a new survey published by MarketWatch shows: an astounding 59% of Gen Z traders have admitted to trading while drunk, the survey showed. That number falls to 32% when all U.S. traders of every age are queried.
The data goes hand in hand with the rise in “emotionally charged” investing, the piece notes. 66% of Americans in the same survey admitted to making "impulsive investment decisions".
The author of the study, Kamaron McNair, commented: “One can imagine how trading apps make this easier than in the old days when an investor might have had to call their broker from the bar.”
The impact is likely disproportionately felt by younger generations due to the "gamification" of apps like Robinhood, according to the Addiction Center, an informational group for people struggling with substance-use disorders and co-occurring behavioral and mental-health disorders.
The Center commented: “The app’s simplicity and graphic design make trading feel like gaming. The platform has drawn in young investors by presenting complex financial instruments like a fun game. Unfortunately, financial experts believe that instead of helping users, the app is purposely downplaying trading risks. They suspect it to be a method to get users hooked to their platform.”
It continued: “When a new member joins the platform, an image of a digital scratch-off lottery ticket pops up on their screen. The picture is a welcome stub, a gift for joining Robinhood’s community. The app’s stub promises a free share of stock worth anywhere from $2.50 to $200. If the new trader wants the prize, they have to play by ‘scratching off’ the image like a lotto ticket."
The survey polled 1,116 U.S. consumers in June of 2021, by generation.