Gen Z is aiming to make bank in the stock market just like generations before.
More than half of Gen Z owns investments, and 41% primarily invest in individual stocks, according to a recent report from the CFA Institute.
Some of that interest, for better or for worse, is driven by "fear of missing out" or "FOMO," with 50% of Gen Z investors saying they have made a "FOMO-driven investment."
And you can say the same for previous generations as well.
A Bank of America survey of fund managers from earlier this year showed investors were chasing gains in tech amid excitement around artificial intelligence. Remember, 2023’s strong first-half performance was primarily a result of gains from just half a dozen companies — mostly buzzy tech names like Meta.
So what are the top stock plays for the market’s youngest generation of investors? We put that question to some Yahoo Finance Live regulars, and it turns out, some of the year's first-half winners are among the best buys.
AI frenzy: Nvidia and Microsoft
AI-related stocks have skyrocketed this year, and two stocks among the biggest winners of the latest investor frenzy still have room to run, pros contend.
"All the rage this year and going forward is and will be AI," Ken Mahoney of Mahoney Asset Management told Yahoo Finance Live, naming Nvidia (NVDA) and Microsoft (MSFT) as his top picks for Gen Z investors.
Nvidia’s growing dominance in the AI chip race and Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI have helped propel these two stocks since the start of the year, with shares surging 195% and 42% respectively.
That first-mover advantage is what’s going to keep these stocks among the leaders of the AI boom, according to Mahoney. Finding leaders in particular fields with stocks trading at a fair value is always key in investing, an important reminder for Gen Z investors surveying the landscape.
"We see the market really ramping into Nvidia and Microsoft as they will be at the forefront of this AI revolution," Mahoney added. "While Nvidia’s P/E is high, there aren’t any other cars speeding as fast down the highway."
EV Boom: Tesla
To no one's surprise, Tesla (TSLA) should be a top stock pick for Gen Z investors, according to Jay Woods, Freedom Capital Markets' chief global strategist.
You've got to invest in a company that you believe in, and "they [Gen Z] love the cars, the technology and Elon Musk," Woods told Yahoo Finance Live.
The stock has more than doubled this year, surging about 125% since the start of January. That blistering rally has prompted a handful of analysts to move to the sidelines. But despite skepticism about its current valuation, many still see a long-term opportunity for the next generation of investors seeking to own what they know and trust (in this example, Tesla).
Barclays analyst Dan Levy, who downgraded the stock last month, wrote in a client note that the team still sees "Tesla as the long-term winner amongst carmakers in the race to an EV world," while Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas said Tesla is still a "must own" in the auto space.
Sounds ripe for the picking for Gen Zers.
The Building Out of America: Lennar, D.R. Horton
Homebuyers are turning to new home construction amid a shortage in the resale market, and that’s boosting homebuilder stocks, a trend that Portfolio Wealth Advisors CEO Lee Munson says will stay intact for some time.
"You add up delayed demand from millennials, the drop in new housing from the great financial crisis, and impossible zoning restrictions in most highly populated cities, and now demand is far outstripping supply,” Munson told Yahoo Finance Live.
Munson added: "Bottom line, if you want to bet that millions of homes need to be built, D.R. Horton and Lennar are far and above the biggest volume players."
Once again, Gen Z would be wise to own the winners taking advantage of important demand trends.