Millennials fancy tech stocks this ISA season

by | Mar 22, 2018

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Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, comments on the most popular sectors in ISAs so far this year, comparing millennials with those aged 60:  

  Top purchased sectors* Top purchased sectors Millennials (aged 18-36) Top purchased sectors by those aged 60+
1 Mining Mining Oil & Gas Producers
2 Oil & Gas Producers Oil & Gas Producers Mining
3 Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Software & Computer Services Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
4 Support Services Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Gas Water & Multi-utilities
5 General Retailers General Retailers Support Services

Spooner said: “Sector analysis is always interesting as it gives investors a real insight into what’s popular on a larger scale amongst The Share Centre’s customers. What’s clear so far in 2018 is that younger and older age groups are investing in different sectors, likely reflecting their experience, objective and outlooks for the future.

“Across the board, Mining as well as Oil and Gas producers, feature as the two most invested in sectors within ISAs. This is a constant most years because within each sector, ISA investors can get a wide range of exposure in the sense of looking for well-established income generative all the way through to higher risk, growth stocks. Experience tells us that when investors are ready to opt for a punt, they tend to go for a smaller company within these sectors, essentially because there is a constant interest and relevance to our day to day lives.


“The split between investments comes when analysing the third to fifth most purchased sectors across the age groups.

“It’s clear from the data that Millennials are putting a much bigger emphasis on investing in technology related companies, and the presence of the Software and Computer Services sector reflects this ethos. Undeniably, 18-36 year olds have grown up understanding and utilising products and services provided by these companies so it’s not surprising there’s an invested interest. Moreover, with increasing talk regarding robots playing an ever larger role in our day to day lives, artificial intelligence systems becoming entrenched, just ask Siri, and new materials continually being introduced to better develop and adapt the proposition, it’s foreseeable that the awareness is enhanced amongst the cohort.

“The other interesting differentiation between the two age groups is that Millennials are also showing a preference for General Retailers. With that being said, it is the online companies intriguing 18-36 year olds with clothes retailer, food delivery group Just Eat and British online supermarket Ocado taking the biggest concentration. I’d say ‘invest in what you know’ is the clear theme coming from Millennials.


“Without a doubt, globally, we are entering a new era where innovation and treatments are developing at a faster rate than ever before. We are all becoming more aware and health conscious, as well as having populations that are living significantly longer. With that in mind, the presence of Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology companies for both age groups is self-explanatory, as perhaps is the increasing priority given by those aged 60+ to such companies.

“The older generation is also showing a preference for generating income, which is anticipated given that most are of the age where they are considering, approaching or enjoying retirement. There are most certainly companies within all of the sectors those aged 60 or above are investing in that are well-respected names, providing them with stability, reliability and a relatively steady stream of capital.

“The two sectors that are different to Millennials come in the shape of Gas, Water and Multi-Utilities as well as Support Services and one could argue that companies within both of these sectors produce things that we all need in our day to day lives complementing the shorter term outlook the group of investors have. The presence of the latter may be a little surprising given that there have been tough times for those sitting within it, Carillion and Capita are good examples of this. Nonetheless, both of these sectors offer investors a wide range of investments and the experience and savvy nature of the investor may also explain their presence.”


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