- Gen Z relies on technology to bank, budget, and invest their money, according to new research from Morningstar.
- And yet, the average 18-to-25-year-old still finds human advisers more trustworthy than robo-advisers.
- Their desire for professional advice could grow as Gen Z graduates into one of the worst health and financial crises in modern history.
- SmartAsset's free tool can find a financial planner to help you take control of your money
Generation Z is very comfortable managing their money online, but they haven't gone fully digital.
That's according to new research from Morningstar, which surveyed around 1,300 Gen Zers in the United States between 18 and 25 years old. The median age of survey respondents was 21.
Every survey respondent said they use at least one financial app, whether for budgeting , investing, or everyday banking . Sixty-three percent said they find financial apps "useful," which is more than any other generation. The most-frequented apps are for brick-and-mortar banks, money transfers, and online-only banks.
Just over 20% of Gen Z respondents said they use financial apps for investing . Robinhood, one of the most popular commission-free trading apps, said more than 3 million new accounts were created on its platform between January and May this year, more than half of which were first-time investors.
As Morningstar mentions, its data "should not be treated as a concrete conclusion about everyone in this age group," but it does offer a window into the digital-forward behaviors of America's youngest generation, which Pew Research Center defines as those born between 1997 and today.
Gen Zers value personalized, face-to-face advice when it comes to money
Despite their reliance on tech, the average Gen Zer still finds human advisers more trustworthy than robo-advisers , the survey found. Thirty percent said they have met with a financial adviser at least once, either on their own or with family members.
As millions of Gen Zers graduate high school and college into a global pandemic and brewing economic crisis, it seems likely that their desire for professional and personalized financial advice will only grow stronger.
Jason Dorsey, president of Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) and author of the upcoming book " Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business ," told Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower that Gen Z will likely become even more risk averse because of this crisis.
"They've already been trying to become self-reliant and to build a foundation into adulthood and that's completely gone," Dorsey said. "They don't have finances to fall back on and they can't count on parents. They're really in desperate straits because they lost their job or income and don't have backstops to help them right now. They also don't have a retirement account to pull money out of."
But Gen Zers surveyed by Morningstar are hopeful. Nearly 60% of respondents reported feeling high levels of optimism and happiness despite the current challenges they face.
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