A new survey from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) found that nearly a third of people in the younger age cohort used informal sources to guide their money management.
That share was almost as high as those who would go to an advisor or an investment firm, at 38% and 35% respectively. Almost a quarter used social media for guidance.
In contrast, people over 55 consulted their acquaintances for financial wisdom half as often as the younger generation, and rarely went online for money advice.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, cryptocurrencies are likely to be owned by people between the ages of 18 and 34, with 16 percent of that group owning the digital assets. Of the surveyed population, only 8 percent had crypto investments.
The results reveal a large generation gap that reflects the relative distribution of wealth between generations and also reveals the impact fintech has on younger adults.
“The results of today’s survey point to generational differences in investment behavior among consumers in Ireland,” said BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes.
“As investment options continue to diversify, it is important to make informed decisions, understand the product and track its progress. In the digital age there are multiple sources of advice and information that can be useful, but consumers should consider balancing this with professional advice.”
The research, which was conducted by research firm Amárach, will raise concerns at the Central Bank, where regulators are struggling to regulate the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.
Governor Gabriel Makhlouf, a vocal skeptic of unsupported blockchain digital assets like bitcoin, has vowed to crack down on irresponsible marketing of crypto, especially through social media influencers.
He has vowed, in consultation with the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, to hold crypto companies to the same standards of governance, risk management and customer protection as other financial companies.
Despite their embrace of new assets in the digital world, young investors still characterize themselves as cautious in their financial decision-making.
The BPFI found that nearly four in five people across all age groups said they were conservative or very conservative.