Bank of America has seen a stunning influx of signups on its self-directed trading platform, Merrill Edge.
The surge in signups comes at the same time the country has nearly 30 million people unemployed and the government has printed trillions of new U.S. dollars to "stimulate" the economy, which has all but ground to a total halt due to the pandemic. But that hasn't stopped "legions of young investors" from signing up to trade, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
And why are they gravitating toward Bank of America's platform? Because they are "looking no further than their own banks," according to the report.
Volume on the bank's Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform rose 180% in Q2, the bank announced late last week. 330,000 new accounts were opened this year with about 33% of those coming from clients that were 35 years old or younger. Client balances for the bank have surged to almost $250 billion, the bank said.
Aron Levine, president of consumer banking and investments at Bank of America, said: “So many people are working from home, working digitally, checking their accounts and watching the stock market every day. If people are not going out to dinner or going shipping, they’re saving and investing.”
Sure, Aron. If by "saving and investing" you mean buying fractional shares of Tesla stock at a $300 billion valuation...
Regardless, the bank is hard at work rolling out new AI tools to try and give its clients more information about their portfolio and research that changes according to volatility in the market.
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that customers viewing Merrill Edge’s financial-education content was up 25x from the year prior.
The bank says that even with the influx of millennial traders, it has safeguards in place to prevent unsophisticated investors from investing in complex products. Meanwhile, Robinhood users are pouring their unemployment checks into weekly $3500 Tesla calls on a daily basis.
“We want to be the place where you can learn how to invest and do it the right way,” Triolo concluded. Yes, we're sure you truly care about the well-being of your customers and not just the fees they pay.
But, as usual, we digress...