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Mark Gilbert

Optimistic Young Retail Investors Are Shooting for the Moon

Over-optimism about future returns risks damaging the investment enthusiasm of the young.

The risky route.

The risky route.

Photographer: Mike Nelson/AFP

The Robinhood crowd came to the fore this year, with their enthusiasm for meme stocks making them a force for professional traders to reckon with. Pandemic lockdowns sparked a wave of interest in day trading, and with it rose the dangers of misunderstanding the boundary between investing and gambling. Still, retail buyers’ appetite for risk shows no sign of abating.

That’s my interpretation of a global survey of retail investors just published by Schroders Plc, the U.K.’s biggest standalone fund manager with assets of 717 billion pounds ($946 billion). Schroders surveyed almost 24,000 people in 33 locations earlier this year, each planning to invest a minimum of $13,000 in the coming 12 months.