With close to 25% of its client base made up of millennials, Ally Invest knows a thing or two about this investor group, including its penchant for mobile investing and its loyalty when it comes to brands they love.
Earlier this year, Richard Hagen, president of Ally Invest, laid out the differences between millennial investors and their older counterparts, starting with how they access and engage with their investment portfolios. According to Hagen, using a mobile device to manage investments is the norm for this age group, which covers ages 18 to 34. He pointed to research showing that close to six in ten millennials use mobile apps to manage their money. Hagen noted that this information has enabled Ally Invest to design a mobile-first experience for its customers.
On the investing front, Hagen said that he is seeing a trend in which millennials are choosing to invest in what they are passionate about and what they know. The top stocks among this group of investors at Ally Invest include Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), Apple Inc. (AAPL), NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) and Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Hagen said. Millennials also trade pharmaceuticals, biotech and energy stocks.
Some of these investing decisions are also driven by an interest in supporting the industries that millennials care about. Hagen pointed to healthcare and the environment as two big ones. "Working with stocks that you know, or industries you're passionate about, isn't necessarily a bad idea – but it can put you at risk if this is your only strategy," Hagen said earlier this year. "We love to see millennial investors with an affinity for innovative companies like Amazon or Apple. However, we want to make sure that our customers are investing intelligently and striving for diversity in their portfolios, too."
Ally Invest's insight into millennials isn't reserved only for its robo-advisory service. The company's parent, Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY), has also been embracing technology that millennials want, including the recent launch of an Amazon Alexa skill for banking. Ally said earlier this month that, with the skill and an Alexa-enabled device, Ally banking customers can conduct banking transactions such as checking account balances, tracking recent transactions and deposits, transferring money, and accessing deposit product interest rates via voice commands. The skill is now available to Ally Bank's deposit customers.
The Ally skill also comes with CurrenSeeSM, a feature that enables consumers to make better choices about purchases. The technology converts the price of any item a customer wants to buy into the working hours it will take to earn that much. Ally Bank also launched Face ID and Send Money with Zelle® for deposit customers. With Face ID, found on the iPhone X, customers can access their accounts via facial recognition, while Send Money with Zelle® enables customers to send money to family and friends.