T. Rowe Price Survey: 40% of Kids Think Crypto is ‘Future of Investing’

The $1.5 trillion asset manager urges parents to talk about risks associated with digital assets


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key takeaways

  • Among parents familiar with the space, 32% say their kids actively trade crypto more than they do
  • “The mandates we manage for clients today are not well suited for investing directly in digital assets,” a T. Rowe Price spokesperson said

Kids are more familiar with crypto than their parents, according to T. Rowe Price’s latest survey, and 40% of the children believe that crypto is the future of investing.

The 2022 Parents, Kids and Money Survey, conducted by online market research firm Dynata, sampled more than 2,000 parents and their 8- to 14-year-old children.

Fifty-seven percent of kids surveyed said they were familiar with cryptocurrency, compared with 47% of parents. Among the parents who are familiar with cryptocurrency, 32% say that their kids actively trade crypto more than they do.

Asked what they would do if given $100, 29% of the children said they would invest it. Of those, 57% said they would invest it in cryptocurrency, while 38% said they would invest in traditional stocks.

Forty percent agree that “cryptocurrency is the future of investing,” the survey also found, though parents don’t seem as convinced — 28% of surveyed parents said they invest in crypto. 53% of those invested or familiar with the space worry that crypto is “a bubble that will burst,” and 52% fear it is a “short-term fad.”

Roger Young, thought leadership director at T. Rowe Price, which had $1.54 trillion in assets under management as of Feb. 28, called cryptocurrencies “extremely volatile and speculative investments” in a statement, noting that investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and cash is “a sound strategy.”

“It’s great to see kids taking an interest in investing, but parents need to talk to their kids about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies,” Young said. “Families who put money into cryptocurrency should do their research and be prepared for a wide range of possible outcomes.”

Given the size of digital asset markets, their impact on capital markets cannot be ignored, a spokesperson told Blockworks, noting that T. Rowe Price has analysts and investors who follow the space closely. Crypto’s market capitalization is roughly $2.2 trillion, according to data compiled by Blockworks.

“We’ve studied the risk and return characteristics and portfolio implications of crypto, perceiving a wide range of possible outcomes,” the representative added. “The mandates we manage for clients today are not well suited for investing directly in digital assets, and we are cognizant of the high level of speculation and lack of regulatory clarity in this space.”

Meanwhile other large asset managers are starting to get involved in the segment.

BlackRock, for example, which manages more than $7 trillion in assets, began allowing two of its mutual funds to allocate to bitcoin futures contracts in January 2021. The fund group registered for an ETF in January that would focus on blockchain technology, and its CEO, Larry Fink, recently said that the war in Ukraine could speed digital currency adoption.

The survey’s release follows Investopedia’s 2022 Financial Literacy Survey, which found that while crypto investments are popular among Gen Z, millennial, and Gen X investors, 49% of Americans have only a beginner-level understanding of digital currency.

Twenty-eight percent of millennials surveyed by Investopedia expect to use cryptocurrency to financially support themselves in retirement, while that figure was at 20% and 17% for Gen X and Gen Z respondents, respectively.

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