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Millennial investors see big gains: What are they investing in?

Account balances for millennials last quarter grew more than for any other age group. Here are some of the stocks driving these gains.

Account balances grew faster for millennials than for any other age cohort last quarter, according to research by Apex Clearing. Millennials saw more than twice the 11.7% return the S&P 500 delivered. We’ll take a look at some of the top performers they invested in, according to Apex.

Plug Power

Plug Power charged through 2020. Its share price increased by 1,544.8% year-over-year. This made it the highest performing stock among millennials’ 100 most widely-held picks, according to a Q4 2020 report by Apex Clearing.

Plug Power is a major manufacturer of electric mobility stations.


FuelCell’s share price increased by 713.1% in 2020.

This company produces fuel cells and provides services to commercial and industrial customers including utility companies, municipalities and universities. FuelCell stock was the third highest-gaining pick in the millennial top 100.


The electric-vehicle sector has seen some major gains in recent years, and Chinese EV manufacturer NIO is among those leading the charge. NIO’s stock saw a 1,193.1% gain in 2020 compared to 2019. This means it grew faster than even Tesla stock.

Bionano Genomics

Millennials invested heavily in the healthcare space in 2020, and Bionano Genomics was their fastest-growing pick in that sector. Its stock price soared by 696.7% year-over-year in 2020.

Bionano Genomics develops technology and research to fight genetic disease. The company recently published its first COVID-19 Host Genome Structural Variant Consortium.

Workhorse Group

The Workhorse Group’s stock price generated a 654.3% one-year increase in 2020. It’s another electric vehicle stock that millennials clinged to. But it also makes electric aircraft and cloud-based telematics performance monitoring systems.

This Ohio-based company may see a significant boost if Biden rolls on with his plan to convert the entire government fleet into an electric-vehicle powerhouse.


In terms of holdings, Tesla was the top stock in the millennial portfolio. The EV-producing giant broke records as it made its entry into the top of the S&P 500 at the close of 2020. And despite reporting its first profit miss in more than a year for the last quarter, many analysts expect Tesla to make gains in 2021.

The company recently announced it will roll out its new Model S and X. It’s building new plants in Berlin and Austin. Tesla also has its eyes set on self-driving cars.


Apple announced its most profitable quarter of all time on January 27. The surge can be largely attributed to high-end iPhone sales during the holiday quarter. For millennials, it was the number-two stock in terms of holdings.

The tech giant is expected to increase production of its 5G-powered iPhone 12 to meet strong demand.


As COVID-19 lockdowns lingered, many people turned to e-commerce titans like Amazon. It ranked among the top three stock picks for millennials in 2020. Its stock rose by 73.98% year-over-year in 2020.

And although Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down by the end of the year, he assured investors he will remain with the company as executive chair and Amazon has “things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish.”


Microsoft’s stock gained a 38.60% one-year increase in 2020, ranked among the top five stocks for millennials. The company has ambitious desires for 2021 as it looks to make its cloud-based technology among the most efficient in the world.

It recently announced strong results for the last quarter. Revenue in intelligent cloud soared 23% to $14.6 billion. Meanwhile, revenue in productivity and business processes spiked by 13% to $13.4 billion.


Apex Clearing reports that in 2020 Disney was the fifth most-widely held stock among millennials. The generation whose youngest members were born in 1981 may have fond memories of Disney content.

But today, Disney’s portfolio spans far beyond cartoons. Its streaming services Disney+ and ESPN+ remained popular in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home mandates.

The conglomerate whipped up a 19.82% one-year increase in share price.

How we chose our picks

We analyzed the Apex Next Investor Outlook Q4 2020 report, issued at the end of 2020. This report highlights the investing habits of millennials, which are set to become the largest living generation. We picked from the highest-performing stocks among the top 100 most-widely held by millennials.

Keep in mind that groups across all age cohorts hold the top stocks. So millennial interest in these does not necessarily indicate they’re moving the markets.

But this generation’s continued trust in these brands could have a lasting impact. It’s also important to note that the average millennial account size was less than $3,400.

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