Many institutions have considered the coronavirus pandemic to be the most severe paradigm shift since the Second World War. Masses of people lost their jobs. The lockdowns forced many businesses to close.
State budgets worldwide struggle to cushion the impact of unemployment by minting unprecedented amounts of new fiat currency units, injecting the need to discuss hyperinflation and rising state debt into the public discourse.
Even the United Nations affirmed that ‘the pandemic may also increase inequality, exclusion, discrimination […] in the medium and long term’, making poor people even poorer and vulnerable groups the ones impacted the most.
As the world’s biggest financial market, Forex received significant attention from new demographics in these times of uncertainty, loss, and opportunity.
Groups of people who have been unaware of the Forex market before have now been flooding in.
This ongoing influx of young people, composed of tech-savvy, young trading newcomers, educated themselves in record time through Reddit groups and YouTube tutorials and took a vibrant stand at the retail end of Forex.
In fact, ‘Generation Z’ participants (meaning, up to 24 years of age) are five times more likely to have had social media as their main research hub than their 41+ counterparts.
Some take a cautious approach, whereas others engage in more reckless, meme-powered social media campaigns to push certain trading assets to record prices.
(For example, the recent runs of the cryptocurrency ‘Dogecoin’, powered by tech billionaire Elon Musk and his Twitter account.)
The major Forex statistics haven’t changed as dramatically across the industry: 89% of all traders are still men. 11% comprise women traders.
Having this unsurprising but already shifting disparity in mind, consider a study conducted by the Warwick Business School which discovered that women outperform men by 1.8% when trading with and investing in financial products.
This is due to men being more likely to engage in risky trading behaviour, often disregarding clearly stated rules of conduct in this sphere. Women seem to be much keener on pursuing long-term strategies, sticking to the original game plan.
Looking at the statistics by age, we determine that 43.5% of traders are between 34–45 years of age, whereas 15% of Forex retail participants are over 45, and 5% of them are millennials aged between 25–34.
Taking OctaFX as just one of the internationally active Forex brokers, we discover the general sentiment described above to be reflected in their statistical data:
‘Generation Z’ (ages 18–25) already was the most significant demographic, representing 32% of the client base in 2019. This was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
They held a slight edge towards ‘Millennials’ (ages 25–35), who represented 30%. Since the lockdown, starting in 2020 and continuing into the present, this gap widened considerably. As of now, ‘Generation Z’ leads with over 40%, whereas ‘Millennials’ fluctuate between 27–28.5%.
On a side note, for the OctaFX age groups 35+, 45+, and 55+ the trading participation rate is slowly declining.
According to experts, this new trend of uncommon demographics streaming into Forex is likely to continue and even accelerate in the near future—one significant reason being the clear forecast for increasing interest in new assets offered by brokers.
OctaFX is a global Forex broker that provides online trading services worldwide since 2011. It offers a state-of-the-art trading experience to over 6.6 million trading accounts worldwide. OctaFX has won more than 40 awards since its foundation, including the ‘Best ECN Broker 2020’ award from World Finance and more recently the 2021 ‘Best Forex Broker Asia’ award and the 2020 ‘Most Transparent Broker’ award from Global Banking & Finance Review and Forex Awards, respectively. The company is well-known for its social and charity activity and its promotions.